Gibson Guitars announced an auction event this weekend (Nov. 12-13) featuring custom-built instruments played by icons including Slash, Alex Lifeson and Paul McCartney.
The Guitars for Peace program seeks to raise funds for the people of Ukraine who remain under threat as the illegal Russian invasion of their country continues. To date, it’s estimated that around 200,000 military personnel have died on both sides, while around 6,500 civilians have been killed – of which over 400 were children.
“Gibson luthiers have crafted an extremely limited edition run of Guitars for Peace Les Paul Custom electric guitars, which proudly display the unforgettable azure and gold colors of the Ukrainian flag,” the corporation’s philanthropic arm, Gibson Gives, said in a statement. “Gibson partnered with artists to perform with the Ukraine guitars on stage on tour this summer. Autograph books traveling alongside each guitar have been signed by Paul McCartney, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, Slash, Brian May of Queen, Fher Olvera of Mana, Nile Rodgers of Chic, Paul Weller, Mark Knopfler, Lzzy Hale, Margo Price, Alex Lifeson, Lewis Capaldi, Blossoms, The Fratellis, Kasabian, Madness, Maisie Peters, Paloma Faith, The Charlatans, the Vaccines, Toyah, My Chemical Romance, and actor Jason Momoa, among others.”
The statement added: “100% of the funds from the auction… will go to the current humanitarian need for the people of Ukraine, as well as rebuilding efforts once the conflict ends. In addition to the guitars, Gibson has launched the Guitars for Peace t-shirt, to allow everyone across the globe to show their support for Ukraine in an affordable way.”
McCartney said: “I’m happy to auction this beautiful guitar of mine to benefit the fine people of Ukraine. Hopefully it will help them through this aggressive Russian invasion.” Slash added: “It is an honor to represent the brave sovereign state of Ukraine. I’m proud to support them during this conflict.” Lifeson reported: “Once again, Gibson Gives rises to the occasion! I’m proud to count myself in as a supporter of the Guitars For Peace initiative in aid of the people of Ukraine.”
Gibson Brands CEO James Curleigh said: “Music has always played a pivotal role in uniting communities and countries, especially during times of conflict. Despite the dark circumstances, we stand by our amazing artists with our support to launch ‘Guitars for Peace,’ and to envision a better future for Ukraine and its citizens.”