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Harmonia S-type Billy Gibbons 2006

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We all have our couch guitars, those instruments that you don’t necessarily bring on tour or in the studio but are perfect for noodling endlessly without even thinking about it. Therefore, a couch guitar has to be highly playable, inspiring and comfortable to hold, and no guitar is more comfortable to hold than a Stratocaster.

This S-shaped Harmonia used to be Billy Gibbons’ couch guitar, and as such it has probably inspired a few great riffs or licks. It isn’t a noble guitar by any stretch of the imagination : no vintage pedigree here, no Custom Shop reissue of anything, but a modest, simple, very playable version of Gibbons’ other favorite guitar. As true ZZ Top fans know, The Reverend’s main two guitars for most of his early career were his ‘59 Burst Pearly Gates and a ‘54 hardtail Stratocaster.

Obviously, even for a couch guitar, this Harmonia had to be flashy and highly distinctive. Gibbons had it painted in a beautiful copper color and has designed some very cool pinstriping patterns applied by Vic. The pickguard has been changed to a kind of purple pearloid model, and the control knobs have been changed to blue, pink and green knobs for a very fun and striking effect, not unlike what Steve Vai does with his JEMs. Finally, the pickups are single-coil format Pearly Gates humbuckers made by Seymour Duncan, the production version of Billy’s favorite hot PAF. Even for someone who’s not aware of its story, this guitar screams Gibbons.

Like all the guitars from the Billy Gibbons collection sold by Matt’s Guitar Shop and bought straight from the man himself, this unique Harmonia has been signed by the Reverend at the back of the headstock and it comes with a signed certificate of authenticity, a picture of Billy holding the guitar, a picture of Billy signing the guitar and a picture of Billy signing the certificate. This is your way of knowing you’re buying the real deal.


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Billy F Gibbons

(1949)

Group : ZZ Top
Main guitar : Gibson Les Paul Standard 1959
An absolute “must-hear” track : Just Got Paid

Billy Gibbons is the boss. The boss of guitarists with his sensual tremolo and the fat sound like a burrito he gets from his Les Paul. The boss of singers with his rocky and twangy sound. The boss of bandleaders with ZZ Top, his trio whose lineup has remained the same since 1969. The boss of engineers, with an impeccable sense of staging. And finally the boss of collectors, with several hangars filled with several thousand guitars that he has acquired over the years. Legend has it that he would have a copy from every year of every model from the major brands, and that may not be just a legend... In any case, the guitars that we know he has are enough to turn heads. From “Mistress Pearly Gates”, the famous Les Paul 59 that has always been with him, to his 54 hardtail Strat that we often hear in addition to Pearly Gates, along with his many custom hotrod guitars.

His career began in 1967 with The Moving Sidewalks, one of the few psychedelic Texas rock bands inspired by the 13th Floor Elevators. They opened for Jimi Hendrix before breaking up in 1969, when Gibbons founded ZZ Top.

The trio began with rich and traditional blues rock before going in a more electronic direction, starting with Degüello in 1979. That direction was confirmed with the Eliminator/Afterburner/Recycler trilogy. Three albums where the blend of Gibbons’ blues with the synthesisers and drum machines of the time produced a result that won over many fans, whether they came to trio’s music through singles like Gimme All Your Loving and Rough Boy, or through the band’s excellent videos that were often played on MTV. Since then, ZZ Top has reinvented its music once again with a fatter, more organic, and fuzzy sound. Gibbons has made multiple appearances as a guest star on other musicians’ albums. He has also released two albums under his own name: Perfectamundo, which explores Cuban music, and Big Bad Blues, which returns to his first loves, between Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley. The circle is complete.



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