NAMM 2012 PRESS RELEASE: Gibson Custom, a division of Gibson Guitar, today announced the release of the Signature Series Ace Frehley Budokan Les Paul. For the new recreation of this one-of-a-kind instrument, Gibson Custom worked directly with the current owner to analyze the guitar and replicate it down to the tiniest detail.
Making its debut in 1977, the Budokan Les Paul became Ace's main guitar when KISS's fame was exploding around the world due to prime-time television appearances, a sold-out debut at Madison Square Garden and the release of their classic album, Love Gun, which included Ace's signature hit, Shock Me (named in Guitar World's 100 Greatest Guitar Solos). For KISS fans, this year is also remembered as the year KISS sold out four nights at the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo, Japan, breaking the record held by The Beatles since 1966. Ace returned to Japan with his Budokan Les Paul the following year for the Alive II tour, where KISS broke their own record with a sold-out, five-night stand.
Each signature series guitar is a near-perfect recreation of nearly mythical guitars. The recreation process involves passion, skill, science and community as Gibson Custom works directly with high-end collectors and engineers to methodically build guitars, like the Budokan, by capturing the tone and feel of the guitar and every minute detail of the guitar. For this recreation, Gibson Custom worked directly with Frehley and current owner of the guitar.
While at Gibson Custom in Nashville for a final review, Frehley said, "When I played the aged Les Pauls, it was very difficult for me to tell the difference between one from the other. They all were remarkably similar. Even the scratches and worn-off finish was replicated just like on the original. The feel and play ability of the necks appeared to be just like my Budokan Les Paul Custom."
"Ace is an icon and we're extremely grateful that the current owner, Matt Swanson, was so passionate about sharing his find that he was willing to work with us and help make this a reality," says Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "Ace inspired so many musicians and we're very proud to be able to recreate a guitar behind some many classic songs."
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