We know an Epiphone version of Gibson's Greeny Les Paul Standard signature model for Kirk Hammett is coming because Gibson President and Interim CEO Cesar Gueikian said as much in a Q&A with followers. But the Metallica man has gone further in the new issue of Guitarist magazine. Much further.
"The Gibson USAs are great," Hammett told Guitarist, "but my favourite version of Greeny is probably the Epiphone… the Epiphone Greenys, just by themselves, sound great and play great, and I was amazed at how I was playing an Epiphone and I didn't want to put it down. It's just on all levels. This was two or three weeks ago [from the time of the interview]. That Epiphone Greeny is now my couch guitar and I reach for it when I'm watching TV, like most guitar players are apt to do."
Remember, the Epiphone version has not been officially announced yet but moreover, this isn't just Kirk Hammett of Metallica praising it but Kirk Hammett, paid-up owner of the real Greeny Les Paul. High praise indeed, and very, very promising news for when the Epiphone version does surface. For Hammett though, the Epiphone model represents more than just a great guitar.
"I guess I'm most excited about that Epiphone because it makes the Greeny mythology, the Greeny influence, the Greeny inspiration available to everyone around the world who was motivated to get it."
The idea of Greeny's owners – Peter Green, Gary Moore and now Hammett – being custodians of the guitar and its influence takes on a whole new light here.
"The main thing is the power of influence and power of influence," adds Hammett. "To me, it leads to the music 20 years from now. So maybe it's just an investment – in the hope that someone will take [a Greeny replica] and make great music that we can all enjoy in the end. It's not my f*****g status. It's not finances. It's not to see my name out there. My motivation is mainly musical and to go out there and put guitars in the hands of musicians who will make music that hopefully I will like in 10 or 15 years time."