Les Paul 100th Anniversary Chopper by Count’s Kustoms (Video)
The Gibson Les Paul is, without a doubt, one of the greatest icons to ever grace modern music history. And as much as I appreciate the rumble of a performance twin with full race exhaust, it’s hard to rival what a vintage Les Paul Custom through a cranked Marshall JMP can produce (think Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin!).To celebrate one of the most storied men of the electric guitar, the Les Paul foundation has pulled out all the stops for the 100th birthday of the man that shaped music as we know it today. One of the highlights is the Les Paul 100th Anniversary Commemorative Custom Chopper built by Count’s Kustoms, which is touring some of the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows (IMS). Count’s Kustoms has built choppers for many stars, including Ozzy Osbourne and Tommy Lee.
Honoring Les Paul, the bike has been built by Danny “The Count” Koker and his team who also happened to have the bike featured on the TV series “Counting Cars” that has aired on the History Channel. When the Gibson Les Paul hit the market, it made plenty of waves in the music community and since then has become a mainstay for countless genres of guitar driven music. And the same can be said for the 100th anniversary bike when it was rolled out in Times Square on June 9th, 2015 for a few short hours. The exhibit poised to take place in Cleveland will mark the first time that the custom chopper will be publicly displayed for an extended period of time.The iconic contour design that we have all come to know and love as the Les Paul, was the first solid-body electric guitar, guided by the mind of a true innovator. Les Paul is also responsible for multi-track recording, effects loops and a myriad of other technological advances that we take for granted today. All of the recording practices used today are based on his overdubbing advances. His legacy is undisputed – whether you are aware of it or not and the Gibson Les Paul is a choice favored by many of your favorite musicians.Les Paul was quite the tinkering spirit, often found hunched over a workbench with a soldering iron in hand, the custom built chopper draws from that creative energy and makes use of components that aren’t exactly found off the shelf. The team utilized various accessories that were found around the garage and studio that truly pay homage to the a man responsible for so much.In the same way, the bike has been completely hand built. The leather seat was crafted and shaped completely by the caring hands of Count’s Kustoms’ team and have adorned it with Les Paul’s well known signature, Les Paul styled mother-of-pearl inlays grace the fender, an oxygen tank that has been repurposed for the gas tank, volume knobs can be found on the engine, a hand-painted portrait of the man himself.And the end result is one of those rare occasions where music and motorcycle design coalesce into a harmonious relationship. The motorcycle was featured on“Counting Cars” episode on The History Channel. For more on the build, check out the video below. About the Les Paul 100th AnniversaryLes Paul was an innovator who inspired creativity throughout his life. As the inventor of the solid body electric guitar, multi-track recording, over-dubbing (sound on sound) and numerous other recording techniques, he left an unmistakable mark on the music industry for future generations. The year-long Les Paul 100th Anniversary celebrates Les Paul’s life and includes major events and programs, tours, promotional campaigns, education grants and marketing initiatives that will secure his legacy for generations. The re-launched Les Paul Foundation website includes interactive opportunities with the late, great Les Paul as well as new merchandise. For more information and up-to- date schedules of the official Les Paul 100th Anniversary activities go to www.les-paul.com or www.lespaulfoundation.org
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.