Peter Green’s ‘Greeny’ – one of rock’s most fabled guitars now owned by Kirk Hammett – gets a Custom Shop replica courtesy of Gibson.
There are famous guitars and then there’s the ‘Greeny’ — a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard — which has passed through the hands of some truly iconic players. Now, thanks to Gibson, a Custom Shop replica has been sighted, which could mean a signature model is in the works.
The celebrated guitar was built one year before the Les Paul model was temporarily discontinued to make way for the Gibson SG. The guitar got its name ‘Greeny’ after being purchased by Fleetwood Mac‘s Peter Green during his time in the Bluesbreakers. The Gibson Les Paul was used by Green throughout his brief tenure in the then blues-based Fleetwood Mac.
When Green’s mental health was in decline, he retreated from the industry and ‘Greeny’ was sold to blues guitarist Gary Moore in 1970 before making its way to Metallica shredder Kirk Hammett in 2014. Since then, it’s become a staple in their live set.
But what makes this guitar so special? It’s in the guitar’s tonal DNA. While Les Pauls are iconic for their full-bodied sound, ‘Greeny’ has an extra kick thanks to the magnets in its neck pickup being wound in reverse. When flicked into the middle position, the Les Paul conjures up a unique out of phase tone similar to the second position on a Stratocaster.
There has been much speculation as to how the pickup ended up this way. One legend claims it was an accident made by Green’s guitar tech, while other myths recount that Green himself claims to have reverse wound the pickup as a result of his own tinkering.
With this Custom Shop replica, could we be soon graced with a signature line of this one of a kind Les Paul? Hammett teased the new replica in a new Instagram post below — see if you can tell which one is which!
Kirk Hammett told Guitar Interactive Magazine that he “feels fortunate enough to add to the story of this guitar”. Watch him play ‘Greeny’ below at a tribute show to the late, great Peter Green earlier this year.