Gibson, Les Paul Joe Perry Custom Shop, 1996


Les Paul Joe Perry Custom Shop
Serial Number: 
Black Translucent
The Story Behind


About the Guitar:

The 1990s proved to be an eventful decade for Gibson, beginning with Rick Gembar taking the helm as Custom Shop General Manager in 1993. It was also during this time that Gibson developed the idea for limited edition replicas of popular artists’ instruments. Going beyond simply replicating sought-after vintage guitars from the company’s past, these guitars were initially based on tried and true vintage designs, but included the modifications that particular artists had done to make the instrument more functional for their needs. 

The first in this series for the Custom Shop was the Joe Perry Les Paul in 1996 which was produced in a limited run of 200 units.

This one has the pickguard signed by Steven Tyler.

What Gibson said about the project:

Gibson USA Launches Joe Perry Signature Guitar

NASHVILLE -- Gibson USA and legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry have teamed up to create a signature Joe Perry guitar, embodying Perry's unique, personal interpretation of Gibson's timeless Les Paul model.

The Joe Perry Les Paul brings a distinctive new look, a comfortable new feel, and exciting new sounds to a classic Gibson model. A stunning hand-stained Translucent BlackBurst finish accentuates the wood grain of a figured maple top, and the aggressive-yet-classy appeal is accentuated by a pearloid pickguard, pearloid truss rod cover and black chrome hardware. The neck shape features a rounded-edge fingerboard for greater comfort. The bridge pickup is custom-wound to Perry's specifications. The electronic circuitry includes an active mid-boost tone-shaping circuit, accessible with a push/pull pot, and a master tone control. The special circuit offers the player a new spectrum of altered tones as well as the trademark Les Paul sounds. A "Joe Perry" signature logo on the guitar and on the exclusive hardshell case completes the package.

The prototype for the Gibson Joe Perry Les Paul is Perry's own early-1960 sunburst Les Paul Standard. "I didn't do a lot to change what's already a great guitar," he said. "Obviously, the cosmetic changes are the most radical. The electronics idea came from a guy who worked on my guitars here in Boston. He took the guts out of a wah-wah pedal and put it in the bass pickup tone pot. When you pop the pot out, everything about the way the guitar is set up goes through that pot and gives you that wah-wah sound right in your guitar, so you can set the tone any way you want." (A full-length interview with Perry will appear in the next issue of GMI's Amplifier magazine, coming online Feburary 1.)

Recently reunited with Columbia Records, the band's original label, Aerosmith is poised to embark on a worldwide tour in support of their upcoming release, Nine Lives (set for March 10). With a signature sound propelled by Joe Perry's sparkling guitar work, Aerosmith has sold in excess of 70 million albums and remains as vital and influential a force in today's international rock music scene as when they stormed out of Boston in the early '70s.

This guitar features:


Bookmatched figured marble top
Mahogany back


Mahogany/Rounded with rolled-edge fingerboard


Scale/Nut Width
24 3/4"1 11/16"




Tune-o-matic/Stop bar


black chrome


Rhythm: '57 Classic humbucker
Treble: Special design humbucker


Two volume, master tone control (rhythm position), push/pull control (treble position) for mid-boost (requires 9 volt battery)


Hand-stained Transluscent BlackBurst

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