Separated at Birth
Guitar World|February 2022
DID YOU KNOW KIRK HAMMETT’S FAMOUS AND HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT 1959 GIBSON LES PAUL, GREENY, HAS A SIBLING? AND THAT IT’S OWNED BY HIS FRIEND, GIBSON BRAND PRESIDENT CESAR GUEIKIAN? NEITHER DID THEY! UNTIL VERY RECENTLY...
Richard Bienstock

THERE ARE FEW, if any, electric guitars as coveted as the sunburst 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard. And the ’59 burst known as Greeny — made famous by Fleetwood Mac legend Peter Green, later played by Irish blues-rock great Gary Moore and, since 2014, owned by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, who has made it a staple of his work with Metallica — is one of the crown jewels of what is already a beloved model. With its trio of esteemed owners, heavily weathered appearance (and backwards-installed neck pickup) and coveted out-of-phase middle-position tone, Greeny is, no doubt, one-of-a-kind.

“I’ve always thought of Greeny as an anomaly, just as a result of the way it looks and sounds and everything it’s been through,” Kirk Hammett says. “It’s a unique, solitary instrument.”

Indeed it is. And yet, the guitar no longer stands entirely alone: Greeny, apparently, has a sibling. And that sibling belongs to Gibson Brand President Cesar Gueikian. “We realized the two guitars have sequential serial numbers,” Gueikian says, “and our minds were blown.”

Bizarrely, Hammett and Gueikian uncovered this fact together, and by pure happenstance. “Cesar’s my bro, and we’re constantly talking about guitars,” Hammett explains. “One day over the summer he called me up and said, ‘I just got an amazing Les Paul — it’s in The Beauty of the ’Burst book.’ I asked him for the serial number, and he read it off. And as I was reaching for my copy of The Beauty of the ’Burst to look it up, he said, ‘Wait a second — what’s Greeny’s serial number?’ So I took a picture of it and texted it to him. He looks at it and he goes, ‘Oh my god — it’s within four serial numbers of Greeny. This is amazing!’

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