Gibson releases replica of Mike McCready's 1959 Les Paul guitar

Over a 25-year career with Pearl Jam, Mike McCready has built up a sizeable collection of enviable guitars, most notably his '59 Strat, Les Paul Jr and Les Paul, and it's the latter of these that Gibson Custom has chosen for its latest vintage replica.

According to Gibson, McCready's Les Paul is "one of the most interesting original Les Pauls we've ever had the pleasure to collaborate on", and that's exemplified by the attention to detail across the Hand Aged finish, which displays every nick and ding on McCready's original.

As you'd expect from a '59 replica, the guitar is made of one-piece mahogany with a flame maple top, and offers custom humbuckers with period-correct PAF covers, all of which are designed to mimic the tone of Mike's '59.

The double-carved neck, too, is precisely matched, using '50s-era construction techniques, apparently resulting in an instantly playable neck feel.

McCready claims the guitar previously belonged to the original guitar player in Van Morrison's first band, Them, and came with a Belfast sticker and paperwork, which gives it an interesting lineage indeed - somewhat reminiscent of how Peter Green's LP ended up in the hands of Kirk Hammett.

The Mike McCready 1959 Les Paul Standard with True Historic specs costs $11,499, but only 50 of these models will be produced, so if it the guitar's on your wishlist, you'd better go and splash the cash now.

However, if the True Historic Specs are not for you (or your bank balance), Gibson Custom has also produced a Standard Historic spec'd version for $6,699.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.