It doesn’t smoke or fire rockets, but original Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley has told Classic Rock that his new Gibson Budokan Les Paul Custom gets “amazingly close” to the original he rocked in the golden era.
Unveiled at the NAMM trade show in January at four price points (from £9,699 for Gibson’s Custom Aged to £599 for the Epiphone equivalent), the limited run includes 50 high-end models signed by the Spaceman himself.
“It was my favourite guitar in the 70s,” says Frehley, “and my No.1 choice for performing live. It felt good, it played good… just an all-round great guitar. Actually, a friend of mine has the original.”
Alongside the aged treatment and authentic trio of DiMarzio humbucker pickups, Frehley was keen to retain the classic formula.
“A Les Paul in itself is a standout feature,” he says. “It’s the best rock’n’roll guitar on the planet. That’s why me and hundreds of other professional musicians chose it, from Jimmy Page and Keith Richards on down.
“Gibson checked with me several times, I sent back feedback, and they fixed it. I was very surprised with the final result. They get amazingly close. Gibson is the best guitar manufacturer in the world.”