Robert Plant, legendary lead singer of the iconic British rock band Led Zeppelin took time out to sign his 10 foot hand painted Gibson Les Paul on site at the Gibson GuitarTown London charity exhibition. The free standing fiberglass guitar named “Armes Prydein” was specially designed by Robert Plant and hand painted with acrylics by acclaimed visual artist Mauricio Ortiz. Armes Prydein, is a reference to a tenth-century poem of political prophecy. Armes Prydein was composed by an ecclesiastic who wished to unite the peoples of Wales with those of Cornwall, Ireland, Strathclyde, Brittany and the Danes of Dublin in order that they might oppose the rising and oppressive power of the English king and drive the English from Britain, thus restoring the sovereignty of the island to its original inhabitants.
The unique guitar forms part of the Gibson GuitarTown London charity campaign, which can be seen on public display around More London, South Bank, SE1 by City Hall until 12th September 2007. Following the display, Robert Plant’s signed guitar along with 29 other specially hand painted 10 foot Gibson Les Paul guitars will be auctioned off to raise money for The Prince’s Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy at a charity auction on November 8th in Central London.
“My earliest recollections in childhood are of huge waves of inquisitive excitement as I was drawn more and more to characters of myth and the incredible. The sailors and pirates who talked of creatures half woman, half fish: were these the same characters who inhabited the Mediterranean”.
“Ulysses was saved from the lure of these sirens by the pouring of hot wax into his ears whilst lashed to the mast of his ship off the island of Vedra. I extended this idea onto the graphics of my 2003 album 'Dreamland'. The design was appropriate because the album included a version of the magnificent Tim Buckley piece 'Song To the Siren' which contained some of the most evocative and beautiful lyrics relating to the blindness and helplessness of broken love”. “Love-adventure-kindness” said Robert Plant - June 2007.
There are currently 29 ten foot free standing Gibson Les Paul replica guitars around More London, SE1 on London’s South Bank by City Hall. They have all been individually and creatively hand painted by many visual artists such as Sir Peter Blake and Gerald Scarfe and signed by household name British musicians such as Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Ozzy Osbourne, Mark Knopfler, Rod Stewart, Keane, Stereophonics, James Blunt, Razorlight, KT Tunstall, New Order, Magic Numbers, Graham Coxon, Brian May, Gallows, Kasabian, The Kooks and Dirty Pretty Things to name a few.
There are a further 30 regular sized Gibson SG guitars on public display at The O2 signed by artists such as Ronnie Wood, Slash, The View, Kaiser Chiefs, Depeche Mode, Mark Ronson, Lemmy and Corinne Bailey Rae to name a few.
Photo credit - Jessica Long