With the "Sweet Child 'O Mine" video, Slash reminded everyone that the Les Paul was a killer rock guitar. This fact had somehow been forgotten amidst the flash and glitter of the ‘80s, despite the influence of Led Zeppelin on the riff-rock of the time. But it wasn't long before players started seeking out Les Pauls again. By the early ‘90s, the Les Paul was totally and utterly cool again, just in time to be the guitar of choice for many grunge artists. And since then it's been here to stay. Slash's contribution to the Les Paul's popularity has been celebrated with several signature models over the years. Let's take a look at them.
Slash Les Paul Snakepit (1997)
Released in 1997, this guitar took a bit of inspiration from a slim-necked Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Slash had built for him in 1990, at least in the sense that both were bright red …but more on that later. The Snakepit model featured the logo of Slash's Snakepit (his post-G'n'R band) and an elaborate, curling cobra fretboard inlay. It was limited to 100 guitars worldwide, although the initial plan was to build 50. They're quite rare and tend to change hands for a lot of money today.
Slash Les Paul Standard (2004)
The guitar most commonly associated with Slash's Velvet Revolver period, this Custom Shop model features Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro humbuckers, a Dark Tobacco Sunburst finish, and a piezo pickup system which allows Slash to access acoustic-like tones at a flip of the mini-switch located between the two rear control pots.
Slash Les Paul Standard (2008)
This Gibson USA model again uses Alnico II Pro pickups - a consistent theme for Slash until Seymour Duncan made the guitarist his own signature set - and a Tobacco Burst finish over a flame maple top. Also used in the Velvet Revolver era.
Slash Les Paul Standard VOS (2008)
This Custom Shop model was based on a Les Paul Slash was given in 1988. The original was beat to heck over the course of many tours, but the VOS version was issued without those dings and dents (but with a black certificate of authenticity in a leather pocket and leather Slash jacket). A Tom Murphy-aged version was also issued, closely mimicking the battle scars, and limited to 150 pieces instead of the 400 of the VOS version.
Slash Les Paul Goldtop (2008)
Based on a 1991 Goldtop often seen in Slash's hands during the Use Your Illusion era (and unfortunately nicked in 1999), this Gibson USA beauty features a Bullion Gold finish, and was limited to 1,000 pieces. This one seems to be particularly prized by fans.
Slash Les Paul Appetite (2010)
Inspired by the guitar Slash used on the Appetite For Destruction album, this Gibson USA Les Paul is based on the Les Paul Standards of the late 50s, with Zebra Alnico II Pro Slash signature humbuckers and a particularly stripy flamed maple top. It's a popular one for fans of early G'n'R, but it's not a direct replica of the Appetite guitar. That would be the…
Slash Signature Les Paul Appetite For Destruction VOS and VOS Aged (2010)
Painstakingly modeled on the original Les Paul '59-style guitar that Slash launched his career with, this one mimics every detail down to the knobs and strap locks. It has Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Slash signature hum buckers, and the VOS Aged version has wear in all the right places. And good for you if you managed to get your hands on one: there were only 300 of the VOS version and 100 of the VOS Aged.
Slash Les Paul Rosso Corsa (2013)
Slash's newest Les Pauls, the Vermillion Les Paul and the Slash Les Paul Rosso Corsa harken back to his very first model in that they're both in a striking red finish.