This year, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, VH1 Save The Music partnered with the Gibson Foundation to recruit 20 musicians and 20 visual artists to create 20 custom guitars that are as much art pieces as they are musical instruments.
Each Les Paul will be auctioned through Julien’s Auctions in October, with all proceeds benefiting VH1 Save The Music in its mission to expand public access to music education for children in America’s public schools.
Participants include Joe Perry, Rick Nielsen, Warren Haynes, Gary Clark Jr. and longtime Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell.
“As a child, I searched to communicate with those around me and to find my voice,” says Campbell, who was introduced to the custom ax before his recent show in Chicago. “Music gave me that voice. I believe music is an expression of our souls and the universal language that we all speak.”
The guitar, whose unique finish was actually inspired by Campbell, was created by visual artist Liz Tran.
“Inclusivity and love were key elements in the creation of the custom Gibson guitar,” Tran says. “Vivian [futureusgalleryCampbell] penned the words and I integrated them into the guitar, along with graphics and sketches of immigrants passing through Ellis Island in the early 20th century (based on photographs by Augustus Sherman).”
You can see the guitar in all its glory below.