I very rarely get excited about signature guitars from Fender and Gibson, although many are fine guitars I often wonder whether they are really worth the incredibly high prices associated with them. I was very excited however when I found out Gibson were producing a replica of Randy Rhoads’ 1974 Les Paul Custom. Randy was a true legend and someone that I’ve always admired for their virtuoso guitar playing, musicalty and being an all round ‘nice guy’, something very rare in the music industry. You’ve only got to read Ozzy Osbornes biography to realise just what an amazing person this guy was.
Along with Randy’s polka dot flying V the 1974 Les Paul Custom was synonymous with Randy and is part of one of most enduring images in rock and roll history.
“To recreate this iconic metal machine, Gibson Custom uses the solid carved maple top with three-piece body consisting of two mahogany slabs with a thin maple center section, as used in Les Pauls of the period. Also present is the three-piece mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard and Custom fiber headstock veneer, on a 17-degree back-angled headstock for optimum tone and sustain, of course. To recreate the sweet, yet aggressive tone of Les Pauls of the era, Gibson Custom has developed the new Super ’74 Humbucker, first used here on the Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom, and a big part of this guitar’s fiery, singing, sustaining sound. To get the look of the guitar just right, all of the original 1974 Custom’s ornate details are painstakingly recreated, including the split-diamond headstock inlay, mother-of-pearl block fingerboard inlays, six-ply white/b/w/b/w/b body-top binding and four and five-ply back and headstock binding respectively, and gold-plated hardware. “
Randy still has legions of devoted fans and I’m sure this will be one of Gibsons most popular re-issues as a result.
Check out this great performance by Randy taken from the Blizzard Of Ozz/Diary Of A Madman 30th Anniversary deluxe box set “Thirty Years After The Blizzard” DVD.