Well, the big news in signature guitars last week was Gibson’s announcement of their new Billie Joe Armstrong Signature Les Paul Junior – an apparently accurate reproduction of the Green Day front-man’s original 1956 LP Junior affectionately known as “Floyd.” (Hehe, you can’t make this stuff up!)
Speaking as a guy who grew up neck-deep in the Northern California punk scene I have to say I never thought I’d see the day Gibson would produce a Signature instrument in collaboration with anyone even remotely associated with this form of music… but hey, it makes me smile!
While I’m personally a big fan of the band (yes, even now,) depending on your cynicism quotient I suppose you can either look at this new partnership as a positive sign of Green Day’s mega-crossover success, or as yet another symbol that the Berkeley punks just plain sold-out. I say more power to ’em.
As mentioned before, the Billie Joe Armstrong signature is based on a ’56 LP Jr., and as such it sports a number of both classic and contemporary features, including a single bridge position custom-designed (and until now one-of-a-kind) double-coil P-90 pickup, a mahogany body, slim-taper 1960s neck, and an old-school non-compensated bridge.
It’s particularly notable that unlike Gibson’s other dauntingly priced signature guitars, the Billie Joe Armstrong model isn’t built by the Custom Shop (though it is built in the States,) and the guitar is expected to go for a street price of just under $1500 – bringing it into the price range of many would-be *punkrockstars* the world over…
The Gibson Billie Joe Armstrong Signature Les Paul Junior Features–
- Solid Mahogany Body
- Mahogany Neck (1960s Slim-Taper Profile)
- 24 3/4-inch Scale Length
- Rosewood or Ebony Fretboard With 22 Frets
- Pearloid Dot Inlays
- Custom Designed H-90 Pickup (Stacked Double Coil)
- Single Volume & Tone Controls
- Classic Non-Comp Wraparound Bridge
- Nickel Plated Hardware
- Black Top Hat Knobs
- White Button Strip Tuning Machines
This one comes with a Billie Joe Armstrong Hard Case (not sure exactly what that entails,) and is available in three finishes: Vintage Sunburst, Ebony, and of course Classic White.