Gibson Guitars Announces Government Series II Les Paul

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2014 at 10:17am

Remember when federal agents raided the Gibson Guitar factory in Nashville a few years ago?

Well, the guitar maker is striking back — in a way — with its new Government Series II Les Paul.

The guitar, which comes in the company's Government Tan finish, is made from the actual rosewood that was seized by the government during two raids.

The model starts at $1,099.

From Gibson:

Government Series II Les Paul Great Gibson electric guitars have long been a means of fighting the establishment, so when the powers that be confiscated stocks of tonewoods from the Gibson factory in Nashville—only to return them once there was a resolution and the investigation ended—it was an event worth celebrating. Introducing the Government Series II Les Paul, a striking new guitar from Gibson USA for 2014 that suitably marks this infamous time in Gibson’s history.

From its solid mahogany body with modern weight relief for enhance resonance and playing comfort, to its carved maple top, the Government Series II Les Paul follows the tradition of the great Les Paul Standards—but also makes a superb statement with its unique appointments.

A distinctive vintage-gloss Government Tan finish, complemented by black-chrome hardware and black plastics and trim, is topped by a pickguard that’s hot-stamped in gold with the Government Series graphic—a bald eagle hoisting a Gibson guitar neck. Each Government Series II Les Paul also includes a genuine piece of Gibson USA history in its solid rosewood fingerboard, which is made from wood returned to Gibson by the US government after the resolution.

And because it’s a Gibson, the Government Series II Les Paul is a pure and powerful tone machine. Aided by a pair of Dirty Fingers+ pickups, among the hottest humbuckers Gibson has ever produced, this historic Les Paul is ready and willing to wage war on tonal timidity—and to get you heard in the process!

Add a set of high-quality Grover tuners, a black hardshell case with Government Series graphic, a Certificate of Authenticity personally signed by Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, and legendary Gibson quality and craftsmanship: this is one mighty Les Paul that you’ll want to confiscate quickly and turn to your own creative devices. The Government Series II is limited by the availability of qualifying woods, so seize yours now from your authorized Gibson USA dealer.

Body and Neck

The Government Series II Les Paul is crafted in the image of the original Les Paul Standard, with a carved maple top and solid mahogany back with modern weight relief for improved playing comfort and enhanced resonance. The glued-in mahogany neck features a comfortably rounded late-’50s profile, while the unbound fingerboard—with a Corian nut, 22 frets and traditional trapezoid inlays just like the very first Gibson Les Pauls—is made from solid rosewood returned to Gibson by the US government.. And, the guitar looks superb with its unique Government Tan finish in vintage-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer.

Pickups and Electronics

The guitar carries a pair of Gibson’s super-hot Dirty Fingers+ pickups for maximum rock action. Among the most powerful humbuckers Gibson has ever produced, these will drive your amp of choice into über-crunch and singing lead tones, while cleaning up beautifully for subtler moments. They’re mounted “open coil” with no covers, and wired through the traditional four-knob control section with three-way selector switch.


A classic Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece anchor it all down for outstanding resonance and sustain, while Grover tuners represent a significant upgrade up top—all plated in black chrome. Plastics are all black, and the black pickguard is hot-stamped in gold with the Government Series eagle graphic.

Cases and Coverage

The Government Series II Les Paul comes protected in a black Gibson hardshell case. Backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty and Gibson’s 24/7/365 Customer Service, the package includes a truss-rod wrench, owner’s manual and a Certificate of Authenticity personally signed by Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz.

For more information and three more (very small) photos, visit

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