For release Thursday, July 18th 2002

Dickey Betts' Red-Top Les Paul now a limited-run Gibson model

The new Dickey Betts '57 Redtop Les Paul from Gibson's Custom division offers guitar aficionados the opportunity to own a replica of one of the most recognized and revered guitars in rock music history - the guitar Betts used to create the fluid, lyrical solo lines on such Allman Brothers Band records as "Ramblin' Man" and "Jessica."

In the early 1970s, during the height of the Allman Brothers Band's popularity, Betts' red-top Les Paul was his main stage instrument, and it was immortalized in 1975 when Charlie Daniels sang about "Richard Betts picking that red guitar" in his tribute to southern rock, "The South's Gonna Do It Again."

Betts' red-top Les Paul is a 1957 model that originally had Gibson's standard goldtop finish, but the top oxidized so badly that Betts stripped it down to bare maple. He then applied a red finish carefully and professionally, using an alcohol-base stain and the same nitro-cellulose lacquer outer coat that Gibson puts on every new guitar.

The vintage and historic experts at Gibson's Custom, Art & Historic division have painstakingly matched the red top finish on Bett's original to create the Gibson Dickey Betts Red-Top '57 Les Paul. Only 55 of the new instruments will be produced.

Ordering Info: Gibson, 800-4GIBSON; www.gibson.com