Ace Frehley says Gibson is going to release a signature guitar based on his “Black Beauty“ Les Paul Custom

(Image credit: stan frgacic/Corbis via Getty Images)

Ahead of the Virtual Guitar Show 2020, Ace Frehley sat down with MusicRadar to chew the fat and answer your questions when he revealed that Gibson was planning a release of the Les Paul Custom he used extensively through the 70s.

The "Black Beauty" is one of the most iconic electric guitars in KISS lore. Its most high-profile recent sighting was on the cover art of Frehley's 2018 solo LP, Spaceman, after which it was in rotation for live shows. 

Frehley had been talking about the fate of his Washburn AF-40 and what he looked for tone-wise, when the subject of Les Pauls came up, and he said that an official Frehley 'Black Beauty' release was in the works. 

I am excited that Gibson is going to put it out

Ace Frehley

"The next model that Gibson is going to put out is the 'Black Beauty', which I used in the 70s for the most part," said Frehley. "I’ve been in touch with Gibson and I’ve got three models out right now. This would be the fourth."

The guitar had been sheltering in place for some years in one of Frehley's many storage lockers [paging Gibson TV: opening these lockers sounds like a job for The Collection] until 2018 when the shoot for Spaceman swung round

"It was in my storage locker," said Frehley. “I’ve got seven storage lockers, and I went into one prior to the photos for Spaceman, and I found that black guitar.“ 

Last week, Ace Frehley released Origins Vol. 2, the second in his series of covers albums featuring the artists who influenced him.

The Virtual Guitar Show 2020 opens tomorrow on MusicRadar. You can read the full interview with Ace Frehley there, and join the likes of Joe Satriani and funk phenom Cory Wong, Guns N' Roses star Richard Fortus and many more for an extravaganza of guitar and bass. 

Tune in for Q&As, masterclasses and live sessions, plus a number of exclusive gear reveals from the world's top gear brands.

I’m loyal to Gibson because as far as I am concerned the Les Paul is the best

Ace Frehley

"I got that in shape and threw some new strings on it and we did the photo session. Everybody got excited about it. I started using it live for a few shows. Great guitar. I am excited that Gibson is going to put it out.”

Frehley explained that the idea had first been mooted before Gibson's change of leadership in 2018. Asked about whether many companies had offered him signature models through the years, Frehley said that nothing could better the Les Paul.

"I’m loyal to Gibson because as far as I am concerned the Les Paul is the best," he said. "Think about all the great guitar players, and they’ve all played Les Pauls."

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.