Epiphone Slash Collection

The Stage is set.  A huge drum kit with double kick drums, an array of cymbals and a gigantic gong sits on a riser in the middle of it, flanked on either side by two enormous bass rigs and a wall of Marshall stacks.  The arena lights are dimmed, and the haze machine fills the air with rock and roll mist. The atmosphere is electric, and the excitement is palpable.

This was the biggest international show I’ve ever had the privilege to work on as local crew.  From my vantage point in the backstage shadows, I watched as “The Kings of Chaos” took the stage for the very first time in South Africa.  The Kings of Chaos are an ensemble of rock and roll royalty, playing the greatest hits and anthems from the bands that made them household names: Glen Hughes (Deep Purple),  Joe Elliot (Def Leppard), Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver), Ed Roland (Collective Soul), Myles Kennedy (Alterbridge) and then these four:  Matt Sorum, Gilby Clarke, Duff McKagan and the one and only SLASH… from Guns n Roses.  And when that silhouetted figure in the top hat walked out, the place erupted with applause.

There is something special about Slash’s presence on stage. Everyone knows that when he steps to the front you are going to have your mind blown with some of the most tasteful, skillful and fast guitar playing you have ever seen – he totally owns it! But there is a humility about him that is just as evident, an authenticity that stands like a rock amidst all the pomp and pretention that goes on at that level. He really loves playing guitar and it is so clear that it is his obsession and has been so for decades.  He is loved the world over by multiple generations of fans and his long-time relationship with the Gibson Les Paul is well known.

People are drawn to him, and his guitars, which makes him a true influencer and why the Slash collection is a very important lineup in Epiphone’s offering at the moment.


The Epiphone Slash collection is made up of five Les Paul guitars, in all the iconic Slash colorways: “Appetite Burst”, “Vermillion Burst”, “Anaconda Burst”, “November Burst” and lastly his famous Gold Top, “Victoria”.  We have seen his signature guitars before over the years, but nothing quite like this. The burst guitars all feature a AAA Flame Maple Top and the Slash custom “C” Shaped Neck.  The Custom ProBucker Alnico 2 pickups deliver all the tone you need to cover your favorite GnR tunes or to just simply voice your own original material. My point is this is a terrific guitar on its own merit. Even as a signature model, it still provides plenty of room for you to make it your own and put your own unique stamp on what it is capable of doing.  All the Les Paul’s ship with a custom Epiphone hard case as well, which just makes it a nice complete package.

But it doesn’t end there… If you have ever watched Slash performing with Myles Kennedy, particularly the acoustic material, a song like “Fall to pieces” you would have noticed him playing a J-45 acoustic… Another guitar with a long history with the man himself, which is also available now as part of the Epiphone Slash Collection.  You can choose between “Vermillion Burst” & “November Burst’.  The Slash J-45 is all solid Mahogany back & sides and an all solid, Sitka Spruce top.  This guitar will just keep getting better with age and the more you play it. It has the same custom “C” shaped neck as the Les Paul and it is fitted with an LR Baggs VTC pickup.  There are some cool but subtle nods to the fact that it is a Slash model too.  You have the “skully” logo on the back of the head stock as well as a “Slash” truss rod cover.  This guitar also ships with a beautiful custom Epiphone hard case, complete with the “skully” logo on the exterior.

Playing both guitars left me well impressed. These are more than just collectors’ pieces, they are hard working tools of the trade, designed to deliver a playing experience that is special and unique to you. I like the playability of the C-shaped neck across the board.  It has a vintage feel to it, it’s nice and comfortable and seems to just naturally fit my playing style. I tried out the Victoria Gold Top Les Paul and loved the way it sounded and, the way it looks.  There is just something so classy about a gold top, it’s my favorite from the collection. The J-45 I tried was the November burst and it also just sat so well and sounded so sweet.  I’m very impressed with the build quality and the fact that it is an all-solid wood acoustic. It has plenty of natural acoustic volume and will inspire you as you play.  Plugged in, it is just as good. The LR Baggs VTC (Volume & Tone Control) gives you all the control parameters you need to amplify the instrument in a nice simple format.  You also have a special sound hole cover to use if feedback ever becomes an issue in a live environment.  Both the Les Paul & the J-45 are of a caliber that speaks for itself.  For me, they stand alone in the world of artist signature models right now as nothing else out there really comes close to them.  The heritage and history, collectability, value for money, performance and build quality, but most importantly…. The fun, that the Slash artist collection offers is unique to Epiphone.

TOMS are authorized Gibson & Epiphone Dealers, and we are proud and very excited to bring to you the Epiphone Slash collection in every TOMS store, nationwide. That includes our online store.  So, pay us a visit or click onto toms.co.za for a deeper dive into what these guitars are all about.


Article by Gray Lowndes, TOMS Heritage Square Manager and former Kings of Chaos Roadie

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