Gibson reveals Pete Townshend Gold Top '76 Les Paul guitar

You wait for one Pete Townshend signature model, then two come at once: first, Fender's Custom Shop Stratocaster, and now Gibson's new Gold Top '76 Les Paul.

The new LP is inspired by (ie, not a precise replica of) Townshend's '70s guitars, in particular a Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop that The Who guitarist smashed in 1976 at the band's Boston Garden show, which is now on display at London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Gibson's version packs mini-humbuckers with a DiMarzio Super Distortion (as opposed to the original's Dual Sound) humbucker sandwiched in the middle, along with a middle pickup blend rotary and second three-position toggle for that pickup, as well as the standard LP control set.

The PT LP's body features a walnut strip flanked by mahogany, and also offers a nod to the fate of Pete's original, with a 'Break Here' sticker on the back of the neck at the 8th fret.

Only 150 of these models will be made, and with a price tag of $3,999, we'd advise potential buyers to resist the urge to smash them.

It looks like Pete's already been road-testing the new guitars, too, if recent footage from The Who's European tour is anything to go by…

Full specs

  • Tuners: Chrome buttons
  • Neck: Mahogany rounded profile
  • Body: Mahogany body with Walnut stripe
  • Pickups: Mini-humbuckers and DiMarzio Super Distortion
  • Bridge: Wireless ABR bridge
  • Controls: Custom controls
  • Straplocks: Custom straplocks
  • Commemorative sticker: "Break Here"
  • Case: Traditional Gibson case
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.