Joe Perry knows what a cool Les Paul should be like. He has owned hundreds of them, and has designed and modified more custom guitars than most of us have ever seen. Back in 1996, he made his first Gibson signature Joe Perry, a highly recognizable translucent black Les Paul with black hardware, uncovered black pickups, a pearloid pickguard, Perry’s signature on the top and an active mid-boost circuit.
The second Joe Perry Les Paul, released in 2004, was a very different trip altogether, much closer to a vintage model. It was dubbed Boneyard, which also happens to be the name of Perry’s studio and signature bottleneck, and the name is inlaid in mother-of-pearl on the headstock. The “Green Tiger” finish, a mixture of green and amber, perfectly showcases the spectacularly flamed AAA maple top. The Boneyard Les Paul was available with or without a Bigsby, but the latter version was obviously the cooler-looking one.
This is the prototype of the Boneyard, made back in 2003. This spectacular guitar was the one Perry extensively played on stage to make sure it was worthy of his signature, and this is the one he posed with for the official Gibson promotional photoshoot. And of course, this one has a Bigsby.