“I didn’t fuckin’ reintroduce the Les Paul,” says Slash. “It’s been around. I just don’t think that anybody who was really popular and touring worldwide was using Les Pauls around the time Guns came out.”
Ironically, the guitar which returned the Gibson Les Paul to prominence in the late-Eighties is actually not a Gibson at all, but an exact replica of a late-Fifties Les Paul Standard built by a luthier named Kris Derrig.
Guns N’ Roses manager Alan Niven bought the guitar and gave it to Slash during the recording sessions for the band’s 1987 debut, Appetite For Destruction. “When I was in the studio doing the basic tracks for Appetite, Alan Niven brought this Les Paul for me to use because I was having a really hard time getting a good sound,” says Slash. “I was getting a little frantic at that point, because we weren’t on the kind of budget – nor did I have the attention span – where we could wait around forever.
“It became my main guitar for a really long time,” Slash continues.”And because I couldn’t afford a whole handful of that sort of thing, I took it out on the road for all of Guns’ early touring. In fact, I almost lost it during an early tour. It was stolen from me once in the crowd. I was being an idiot, leaning over the audience and getting pulled in, and some guy just grabbed it. I freaked once I realized that it was off my person – that I’d completely lost control over it. But our security guys went out and caught the guy before he left the building. That’s happened to me a couple of times.”
The instrument came with Seymour Duncan Alnico II pickups (zebra-look), which Slash now uses in all of his solid-body humbucker-loaded guitars, and it has remained virtually unaltered except for the countless pickup rings pulverized by the guitarist during his celebrated on-stage antics. “I don’t take that guitar on the road anymore,” says Slash. “It’s beat to shit, but it still sounds great!”
Source: Guitar Shop Magazine (October 1996)
- ’59 Les Paul Standard replica
- Seymour Duncan Alnico II pickups
- Serial #: 90607