Gibson Les Paul 59 reissue Rick Nielsen signature #4

Gibson Les Paul 59 reissue Rick Nielsen signature #43 Aged and signed + aged case

Original Left - Clone Right

Nashville, TN (March 24, 2016) -- Gibson Custom has joined forces with Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen to announce the limited release of the Rick Nielsen 1959 Les Paul Standard, a replica of Nielsen’s favorite stage and studio guitar. Designed in close association with Nielsen, Gibson Custom used Nielsen’s original 1959 Les Paul to replicate the prototype to capture every detail of the look and sound, 50 guitars have also been hand-signed by Nielsen himself.

For the past 25 years an original 1959 Les Paul has been a staple for the legendary guitarist making multiple appearances both on stage and in the studio. The new Gibson Custom model precisely replicates the original at a level of detail so fine that when put side-by-side Nielsen declares it “remarkable.” Cheap Trick will be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 8th during a ceremony at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

“Rick Nielsen has had an illustrious career, lending his talent in the creation of so many Cheap Trick classics,” said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman/CEO, Gibson Brands. “We’re thrilled with the result of our collaboration with Rick, brining fans and fellow guitar players an amazing, intricate replica of his 1959 Les Paul Standard that has been by his side for 25 years.”

Offered to true historic specifications, the Rick Nielsen 1959 Les Paul Standard is offered in two finish options (aged and vintage gloss).The neck consists of double-carved, one-piece genuine mahogany and the fingerboard features one-piece, hand-rolled Indian rosewood with cellulose trapezoid inlays. The body pairs a two-piece maple top with a one-piece genuine mahogany back. 

Rick Nielsen Les Paul Interview

True Historic

STORY

Gibson’s Custom Shop recently announced a limited-edition release of the Rick Nielsen 1959 Les Paul Standard --a precise replica of the instrument you’ve been playing for 25 years. What can you tell us about it?

I saw a prototype for the first time a couple of months ago. It was amazing. They went through everything--got all the dimensions, replicated everything about it. My ’59 Les Paul has a really nice tiger-stripe--curly maple on the top, real tight. They replicated that, along with all the wear marks and the fading. The only thing missing is the smell.

Have you played it?

Oh, yeah. It plays terrific, and sustains like mad. Even before I plugged in, I could tell it sounded great. Les Pauls from ’58, ’59, and ’60 all sound a little different. I don’t know the technical things the Custom Shop did, but they obviously took into account the weight of the wood, the kind of wiring that was used, and the strength of the pickups. They really did their homework.

You also requested a replica of the original ’59 case.

That’s right. I wanted it to come with a replica of the Lifton case that was included with the ‘58s, ‘59s, and ‘60s. So now there are 50 relic’d cases. They were done exactly the way I wanted. I have to say, the Custom Shop did a fantastic job.

According to Gibson Custom, the Rick Nielsen 1959 Les Paul Standard, original Serial #9 0655, is based on Nielsen’s original, Serial #9 0655. 

“Rick and the original have been together for over 35 years, since the charismatic guitarist of mega-band Cheap Trick added the guitar to his vast collection,” Gibson notes. “Unlike most of Rick’s collection however, his original ’59 has become a constant stage and studio companion. Rick even travels with it today, much to the dismay of his touring crew who are quick to point out that the majority of the band’s insurance rider costs on tour are used to cover Rick’s rather valuable original ’59.”

Gibson Custom worked closely with Nielsen to create the replica. The Rick Nielsen 1959 Les Paul Standard is being offered in a run of 50 Aged & Signed (and our first Artist Replica to include an aged Reissue case), 100 Aged, and 150 Vintage Gloss. All versions of the guitar are rendered to True Historic specifications and are hand-crafted based on digital scans of Rick’s original so that the neck shape and dish carve are precisely replicated.