Raw Power: Slash's Signature Les Paul

Slash is the embodiment of an iconic rock star, and he’s as closely associated with the Gibson Les Paul guitar as he is to his beloved toppers. However, that’s not the six-string he used as he rose to superstardom.

As he describes in the new Classic Rock fanpack, on the lion’s share of GN’R’s game-changing debut album Appetite For Destruction he actually used a copy of a late-1950s Les Paul, built by guitar maker Kris Derrig, and it remains his go-to recording guitar to this day.

On stage it’s a different matter, though, and he’s recently been seen strutting the boards with one of a number of new signature models in hand, be it the limited-edition Rossa Corsa Les Paul (a gorgeous burgundy finished model), or the Slash Signature Vermillion Les Paul pictured here. Resembling in part the Snakepit Les Paul that was released in 1996, the vermillion finish to the AAA-grade flamed maple top almost glows from within, and the guitar boasts a pair of Slash’s signature Alnico II Pro pickups, a neck big enough to satisfy anyone and a tone to die for. The man’s increasingly familiar hand-drawn ‘RnFnR’ logo adorns the headstock, and the vibe is refreshingly different from the litany of sunburst models out there.

The tone is further assisted by Gibson’s utilisation of their ‘weight relief’ process in the construction of the guitar (typically, a Les Paul can weigh in at around 13lbs/6Kg), which sees part of the body hollowed out to give added resonance. Thanks to this reduction in body wood the Vermillion is far more practical to sling low and run about with. Plug it into a half-decent Marshall amp and you’re away.

Around £2,200, www.gibson.com

Simon Bradley, Guitarist magazine


One of the perks of fame is having guitars the rest of us would die for. Loads of them.

When you’re a guitarist just starting out, you make do with whatever you can until you can afford a ‘proper’ guitar, such as a Gibson or a Fender. When you’re famous you can negotiate huge discounts. When you’re as famous as Slash, you’ve got companies queueing up to give you guitars.

This is why among the many vintage, classic and new guitars Slash owns you’ll find a whole stable of his beloved Les Pauls, along with many other Gibsons plus electrics from Fender, acoustics from Martin and Collings… The list goes on and on. And on…

Read Slash talking about some of his favourite guitars in his collection (pictured) in Classic Rock’s new World On Fire fanpack, on sale now from www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/slash