It was teased and now it's all happening between Gibson and Megadeth's Dave Mustaine; and like their plans with Slash and Gene Simmons, the word 'partnership' is being used here. And they're walking the talk with not just new Gibson Mustaine signature guitars, but a Kramer too. With Epiphone to follow.
Never ones to shy away from grand terms, Dave is the latest recruit to what is turning into the Memphis company's guitar version of the Avengers; the 'Gibson Artist Alliance'. With Tony Iommi as Iron Man, we presume…
The new Dave Mustaine Collection will span electric and acoustic guitars across Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer. Mustaine's role as a member of the Artist Alliance is "to share in thought leadership, research & development, mentorship of the next generation of players, as well as philanthropic endeavours."
Grand talk indeed. Anyway, enough of that. Let's hear from MegaDave himself…
“One of first albums I ever bought was Kiss Alive," says Mustaine. "On the back of that LP was the Gibson logo, followed by ‘Kiss uses Gibson Guitars because they want the best’. Period. Years later, I’m still that same fan, but now I’ve been playing, touring, writing, and performing around the world myself, and I can say that I could not agree more with that statement.
"As I was looking for a change in my guitars, I met with Cesar [Gueikian, Gibson CMO] and got his perspective on the vision and direction Gibson is taking. I saw passion, respect for the instruments, a focus on quality and a company that is led by guitar players. I feel I am finally at home with Gibson and I am proud of what we’re building together. I can’t wait for the world to get their hands on the new Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer Dave Mustaine Collection guitars. This is a dream come true for me, don’t #@!# wake me up.”
If he is home, Mustaine took a long time getting there following signature models with Jackson, ESP and most recently, Dean Guitars. But as a longtime lover of the V shape, it makes perfect sense. And as a godfather of thrash and bonafide metal legend, he's an impressive signing for Gibson President / CEO James 'JC' Curleigh and the crew.
So let's see the guitars!
All four models unveiled are prototypes at this stage – so now specs are revealed. Above is the Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP in Metallic Silver.
This is Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V 30th Anniversary ‘Rust in Peace’ Edition.
And surprise; an acoustic! The Gibson Acoustic Dave Mustaine CF-100 Blood Burst. The most metal acoustic Gibson have ever made? It's the first Gibson acoustic guitar with 24-frets and required redesigned bracing as a result.
The effects of this wider bracing will now influence future design on other acoustic models, as Cesar Gueikian explains in the interview video with Mustaine at the top.
Lastly there's a Kramer Dave Mustaine Flying V Vanguard in Natural.
It's safe to say we'll see these guitars released as production models later in 2021 and you can hear from Mustaine in the video at the top about how he "grew up secretly coveting Gibson guitars".
For Cesar Gueikian it's an especially personal signing – in the video interview he tells Mustaine how he once sold his first proper electric guitar (a Les Paul) to buy Mustaine's Jackson signature back in the 80s.
“It’s an honor to welcome icon, pioneer and visionary musician Dave Mustaine to the Gibson family as our brand ambassador”, says Gueikian. “Dave is one of the most influential metal icons and riff lords of all time, having paved the way for multiple generations of players to carry the flag for hard rock and heavy metal, from riff writers to shredders and everyone in between.
"Working with Dave is especially gratifying because he is a guitar nerd like me, who gets involved in every aspect of the development of the concepts and ideas we have been designing with him at the Gibson Lab. When I was as kid learning how to play guitar, I aspired to play Dave’s riffs and I was one of the fortunate fans who attended their Youthanasia Tour concert at Estadio Obras Sanitarias in 1994, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the ‘Aguante Megadeth’ chant was born over the song Symphony of Destruction. That was an epic night that I will never forget. I look forward to bringing this partnership to life and unveiling the first stages of the Dave Mustaine Collection to the world.”