The Mythical “Greeny” Enters Standard Production
Most legendary guitars become famous in the hands of a single player, but “Greeny” can claim three. From Peter Green to Gary Moore to Kirk Hammett, the 1959 Les Paul originally made famous by the Fleetwood Mac co-founder has been regularly honored by Gibson with museum-grade replications, sporting every nick, scratch, and dent of the original. Now, for the first time, the Gibson Kirk Hammett “Greeny” brings the instrument’s iconic tone and signature looks into the company’s standard production line! This guitar flaunts a superlative set of specs common among ’59-style Les Pauls, including a warm-sounding mahogany body, an AAA flame maple top, a chunky late ’50s mahogany neck, and a sleek Indian rosewood fingerboard. However, the Kirk Hammett “Greeny” Les Paul Standard features two Greenybucker pickups, with the neck pickup boasting a flipped-magnet construction, providing you with a spot-on emulation of the “magic” out-of-phase bite that’s graced countless classic tracks across all three guitarists’ careers. After many long years of extremely limited-run Gibson Custom creations, the Gibson Kirk Hammett “Greeny” Les Paul Standard finally brings the fabled tone of the original instrument to the masses.
The legend of “Greeny”
Peter Green originally purchased “Greeny” in the late 1960s, reportedly for sixty guineas (roughly $6 USD), after joining John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Green also used the guitar during his tenure with Fleetwood Mac, lending its unmistakable tone to such esteemed classics as “Black Magic Woman,” “Albatross,” and “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown).” In January 1970, Green generously sold the guitar to his friend Gary Moore, reportedly for $100–$110. It’s been said that Moore initially hesitated to buy the guitar as he didn’t think he could afford it, which is why Green sold it to him for such a paltry sum. Moore went on to record and perform with “Greeny” until the early aughts. For a tasty helping of Moore’s “Greeny”-wielding sound, check out “Parisienne Walkways” on his 1978 album, Back on the Streets. In 2006, during a period of financial hardship, Moore sold “Greeny” for around $750,000–$1.2 million, after which is was shuffled between numerous dealers and private collectors. Finally, in 2014, the guitar was purchased by Kirk Hammett for around $2 million, and it’s been his #1 instrument ever since.
Signature “Greeny” aesthetics
While the Gibson Kirk Hammett “Greeny” Les Paul Standard may be missing the accumulated wear of three legendary guitarists and 60-plus years of hard playing, this guitar’s aesthetic outfit is still irrefutably “Greeny.” In other words, it’s by no means a typical ’59 Les Paul re-creation. First up, the Gibson Kirk Hammett “Greeny” Les Paul Standard AAA flame maple top is displayed in its full glory, with no pesky pickguard to obstruct the sheer beauty of its highly figured grain. Next, you’ll notice that the volume and tone knobs aren’t exactly matched: they were replaced during Gary Moore’s tenure with the instrument to make it easier to distinguish between them. And while plenty of Sweetwater guitarists love the worn-in look and feel of a relic’d instrument, those who prefer the new-guitar sheen of a model fresh from the factory will be pleased to hear that Gibson opted not to replicate the vestigial screw holes, play wear, and multiple headstock breaks of the original “Greeny”!
Dual Greenybucker pickups for “Magic” out-of-phase tones
When Peter Green first acquired his ’59 Les Paul, the legend goes that, by accident or intent, he flipped the magnet in the instrument’s neck pickup. This change resulted in a somewhat nasal, cutting sound in the middle position that would become his signature tone, famously referred to as a “magic” sound by his fans and friends. Well, it may be “magic,” but we now know that the sound is simply a honking out-of-phase tone caused by that flipped magnet! The Gibson Kirk Hammett “Greeny” Les Paul Standard’s Greenybucker pickups re-create that exact tone, with a flipped-magnet construction on the neck pickup. Plus, when played on their own, the PAF-style articulation and punch of Greenybuckers shine through with the utmost definition and versatility — there’s a good reason why the guitar has been so favored by three legendary guitarists with drastically different styles.