Gibson's contribution to the Crossroads Collection comes in the form of a replica of the 1957 Les Paul that Clapton gave to his best friend George Harrison.
The guitar, which Harrison nicknamed "Lucy" can be heard on the White Album and Let It Be and was played by Clapton on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Perhaps more importantly, Harrison leant Clapton "Lucy" in 1973 for Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert- the show that marked Clapton's emergence from years of struggling with heroin addiction.
Originally a 1957 Gold Top, the guitar was refinished in 1967 by Gibson in their translucent cherry red. The finish beautifully displays the grain of the mahogany body and the offset seam in its maple top.
The PAF humbuckers are exact replicas of the original 1957 pickups, and have been worn down and rusted to add to the authentic look and feel of the guitar. Just like the original, the Harrison-Clapton Les Paul has two screw holes below the bridge and three screws in the base of the instrument from a previously removed Bigsby. Much like the PAFs, the Grover tuners are also worn and slightly corroded, though this did not appear to impact their functionality.
I was taken aback by how light "Lucy" was. Every Les Paul I've played had some immediate heft to it- the same kind of heft that an elephant has. Heavy, but insanely sturdy. What was remarkable about this guitar was how light and easy it felt slung over my shoulder, yet how solid and sturdy it really was.
I also wasn't expecting such a thin neck from a '57. The folks at Gibson tell us that the neck was also redone with the paint job in '67. All around a very well built and easy-playing guitar. It's easy to see why both Clapton and Harrison cherished it.
Each Harrison-Clapton Les Paul includes a certificate of authenticity signed by Eric Clapton, a DVD with interviews featuring Clapton, a remastered 180gm vinyl edition of the White Album, and a reproduction Gibson hardshell case.
50 guitars will be available in the United States exclusively through Guitar Center, and another 50 will be available internationally. They are slated to be available March 21st and will retail for $14,999. A significant amount of the proceeds will be donated to benefit the Crossroads Centre.
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