Joe Bonamassa  Skinnerburst

Of all of today’s Les Paul-wielding artists Joe Bonamassa is among the most revered, and the astounding 1959 model that he affectionately calls “Principal Skinner” is the most beloved guitar in his extensive collection. Now, following a long-coming collaboration between Joe and Gibson Custom, we are delighted to present “Skinnerburst,” a detail-perfect recreation of what is possibly the hardest working 1959 Les Paul in the world today. Through unrestricted access to the original and Joe’s generous cooperation, Gibson Custom has scanned, studied and measured every spec, curve and parameter of this guitar to bring you an instrument that reproduces this prized ‘burst in every possible way, exactly as it looks, feels, and sounds today.

From its delectably faded Dirty Lemon finish, to its custom-wound humbucking pickups, to its precise top carve and neck profile, the Joe Bonamassa “Skinnerburst” 1959 Les Paul gets you as close as is humanly possible to a priceless artist’s guitar. Historically accurate binding colors, aged cellulose trapezoid inlays, hot-hide glue neck construction, and period-correct hardware all complement a breathtaking rendition of Joe’s constant stage and studio companion. Of 150 guitars hand-aged by unparalleled ageing artist Tom Murphy, 50 will be played and signed by Joe himself; a further 150 will be treated to Gibson Custom’s VOS process, making a Limited Edition of 300 guitars in total.



Body Language

The maple top’s figuring and carved arch are precisely matched to Joe’s original “Skinnerburst.”



Pickup Lines

Gibson’s CustomBucker and Burstbucker pickups are made to the precise specs of the original PAFs in Joe’s favored original ’59 Les Paul.



Precision Tune-up

Nickel-plated Tune-o-matic bridge and lightweight aluminum stopbar deliver burst-certified sustain.



Precise Neck Profile

The precise profile and feel of Joe’s guitar are recreated in a stunningly accurate ’59 neck shape.



The Beauty of a Time Faded Burst

Skinnerburst—an accurate recreation of the luscious fade of a ’59 sunburst Les Paul’s top to a shade commonly referred to as “Dirty Lemon”.



Aging Gracefully

Authentic hand-aging by Tom Murphy (150 guitars) to match the playing wear of Joe’s own ’59 Les Paul.

Gibson Custom and Joe Bonamassa are pleased to present "Skinnerburst" aka Principal Skinner and possibly the hardest working original '59 Les Paul in the world. In a long-coming collaboration with Gibson Custom, Joe allowed our engineers and craftsmen complete access to his now legendary Les Paul. The result is a very limited run of "Skinnerburst" '59 Les Pauls that capture the look, tone and feel of Joe's own favourite.

The Gibson Les Paul Standard 1959 Skinnerburst Aged model was created with the help of Joe Bonamassa himself. Known to Mr Bonamassa as 'Principal Skinner', this meticulously crafted replica '59 Les Paul captures every nuance of the original, even down the worn finish. It's distinctive bluesy voice proves equally effective in both live and studio situations, and with a seal of approval from Mr Bonamassa himself, you can rest assured that's every bit as good as the original! From it's Dirty Lemon finish and decades of character worn into it by it's four owners, to it's custom wound pickups, every detial that makes Skinnerburst Joe's most played stage and studio companion are recreated in the hands of Gibson's highly skilled team. "Skinnerburst's" neck profile, top carve and patina are all here, along with it's hot hide glue neck construction, vintage accurate, lightweight aluminium stopbar tailpiece and Kluson Green Key tuners. All 150 aged (50 played and signed by Joe) are completed at the hands of Tom Murphy to insure the most accurate recreation of "Skinnerburst's" current day state. 150 Vintage Original Spec versions are also available, completing a Limited Edition of 300 total.


  • Body: 2 Piece, Figured Maple

  • Back: 1 Piece, Genuine Mahogany

  • Binding: Reissue Cream, Single Ply

  • Neck: 1 Piece, Genuine Mahogany

  • Fingerboard: 1 Piece, Indian Rosewood

  • Inlay: Aged Cellulose trapezoid

  • Headstock: 59LP, Holly Head Veneer, Open "O", Open "B" Gibson Logo

  • Scale: 24.75

  • Tuners: Kluson Deluxe Green Keys, Single Band

  • Bridge: Nickel ABR-1 With Thumbwheels

  • Tailpiece: Lightweight Aluminium Stopbar

  • Neck Pickup: Custombucker

  • Knobs: Gold Top Hats

  • Finish: "Skinnerburst" Dirty Lemon

  • Certificate of Autheticity-Engraved and leather-bound

  • Hard Shell Custom Shop Case