Gibson Garage: Guitar brand to open London store off Oxford Street - brand beloved of Jimmy Page and Slash

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Its guitars have been played by the likes of Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix, and now Gibson is opening a central London store.

One of the world's iconic guitar brands will open a store off Oxford Street next month.

Instruments by Gibson will be instantly recognisable, including the Les Paul, beloved of guitarists including Jimmy Page and Slash.

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The Gibson SG has been played by the likes of Angus Young and Frank Zappa, while the Flying V became symbolic of heavy metal bands such as Metallica.

Opening on Saturday February 24 at 61-62 Eastcastle Street, the Gibson Garage London will feature 4,500 square feet of retail space. It will be the brand's first flagship store outside the US.

Visitors will be able to plug in and play more than 300 electric and acoustic guitars from Gibson Custom Shop to Epiphone and Kramer, as well as Maestro pedals.

The Gibson Garage will host weekly live performances, showcases and panel discussions. The store's inaugural exhibition in the Gibson Gallery will debut with a collection by rock 'n' roll photographer Gered Mankowitz, who has captured images of everyone from The Rolling Stones to Jimi Hendrix, to Kate Bush.

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Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash plays a Gibson Les Paul. (Photo by Eduardo VALENTE / AFP via Getty Images)Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash plays a Gibson Les Paul. (Photo by Eduardo VALENTE / AFP via Getty Images)
Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash plays a Gibson Les Paul. (Photo by Eduardo VALENTE / AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

'London music community'

Cesar Gueikian, president and CEO of Gibson Brands, said: “We are thrilled to announce the opening of the Gibson Garage London.

"London was an obvious choice for our second location, given it’s one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world with a highly influential and vibrant musical ecosystem. The Gibson Garage is how we want our fans to experience Gibson; an immersive dream space where fans walk in and say: ‘Wow, this is the place that Gibson should have always had!’

"The Garage is designed to be a part of the London music community with a live stage featuring performances, and events from icons and emerging artists on any given day. It’s also an exciting place to experience music and lifestyle through Gibson instruments, sound, media, and apparel. We hope the Gibson Garage will have a dramatic impact on the London music scene in addition to becoming a must-see destination.”

Gibson guitars

Gibson this year marks its 130 anniversary, with its roots in 1984, when Orville Gibson began building acoustic guitars and mandolins in his shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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Orville invented the 'archtop' guitar, beginning the company's characteristic innovative approach.

In 1952 Gibson partnered with jazz guitarist Les Paul to create his signature instrument. The Flying V was released in 1958 and the SG in 1963.

Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin plays a Gibson Les Paul at Madison Square Garden on September 3, 1971 in New York.  (Photo by Walter Iooss Jr./Getty Images) Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin plays a Gibson Les Paul at Madison Square Garden on September 3, 1971 in New York.  (Photo by Walter Iooss Jr./Getty Images)
Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin plays a Gibson Les Paul at Madison Square Garden on September 3, 1971 in New York. (Photo by Walter Iooss Jr./Getty Images) | Getty Images

Gibson has appointed general manager Etaoin Fagan to run the store, along with Andy Wratten as assistant manager for operations, and Sam Gammon as assistant manager for sales, reporting to Cesar Gueikian, president and CEO of Gibson Brands.

Lee Bartram - head of commercial, marketing and cultural influence EMEA at Gibson Brands - said: “The Gibson Garage London is fast becoming a reality and with Etaoin, Sam and Andy at the helm it is safe to say that it couldn’t be in better hands.

"We look forward to this journey and we have a great team bringing the Gibson Garage London to life.”

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