With massive changes in the company, guitar lovers expected some massive changes with Gibson guitars. While the approach to leading the business has certainly gone into a new direction with James Curleigh at the helm, their guitars and prices are all pretty much the same. The general image of the company is probably the same, although this would deserve a whole article to fully analyze.
One thing that they did manage to pull off is to bring in a lot of interesting signature artists. Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine was a big one, and so was Noel Gallagher, formerly of Oasis. But the newest one to come to the Gibson artist roster was Rick Beato, the famous YouTube guitar and music theory teacher who also used to work as a producer back in the day.
In a new video, YouTuber Ola Englund looked more into Rick Beato’s signature double-cut Les Paul Special. Having his guitar company Solar and being a completely different kind of guitar player compared to Beato, it’s interesting to hear what Ola has to say on the matter. He offered (transcribed by Killer Guitar Rigs):
“No jealousy at all, Rick Beato has had an incredible success. And much deserved so. And now, Gibson are working with Rick Beato on a signature guitar.”
After making a few remarks on how Rick is “eyeballing” the guitar on the promo image like “it’s his lady,” he added:
“Much like other signature guitars I’ve seen from Gibson… You know, Dave Mustaine, Mark Morton, and Noel Gallagher — they’re very, very, very barebones. I mean, you go and see signature guitars from other brands and you see all these small personal quirks that go into the guitar, something that makes it unique in that sense.”
“But I’ve seen in a lot of the Gibson guitars that there’s not really anything that makes them unique in a sense that they’re signature guitars, other than specs and other than looks. But, you know, I’m not sure what the strategy is here that Gibson might not have like you would have the ‘Rick Beato inlay’ or the ‘Megadeth inlay.'”
“All I’ve seen on the Megadeth Dave Mustaine signature guitar is him on the back of the headstock. Other than that, it could be a regular Gibson guitar without any type of Megadeth flair to it.”
“In this sense, on the Rick Beato one, it’s very barebones. And maybe that’s an artist preference. And maybe it’s just me that wants all that unique ‘artistry’ on the guitar since it’s a signature guitar.”
“If I have, like, a [Crowbar frontman and Down guitarist] Kirk Windstein signature guitar, I want it to be fucking crowbar on the inlay and all that. Because, as a fan, I would want to have that.”
Regarding the Rick Beato signature Les Paul price, which is $1,999, Ola said:
“So, not that steep in terms of a Gibson signature guitar. I mean, maybe that’s why it’s barebones. It’s just to basically keep the price down to a good minimum for a USA Gibson guitar, right?”
Photo: Petrenko Petr (Ola Englund in Shanghai (cropped)), Martin Hesketh (Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus headstock (2014-08-16 06.06.49 by Martin Hesketh))