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Monday, June 6, 2016

Guitar Hangar and the Mick Ronson Tribute Les Paul

Guitar Hangar owner Rick Tedesco has had quite the relationship with Mick Ronson and his famous "Topless" Les Paul. It all started with Rick's love for the music of David Bowie and his Spiders from Mars. Rick has collected tons of Bowie and Ronson memorabilia but his "white whale" was always that infamous Les Paul. 

In 2001, after years of investigation, phone calls, emails, and posting in online message boards, Rick tracked the Ronson Les Paul to a Hard Rock Cafe in Australia. After a lengthy trade negotiation involving some priceless rock memorabilia, the Ronson was finally in Rick's hands. The rest of the story is where it gets cool. 

Recognizing the importance of the Ronson guitar, Rick loaned it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where it was on display for 2 years. Then, Rick was struck with an idea: "Since finding the Ronson guitar, I have received hundreds of e-mails about it, and it occurred to me since there were so many tribute guitars out there, there should be something available to the Ronson fan! I approached Suzy Ronson and [Mick's daughter] Lisa Ronson, and they thought it was a great idea - but we all had concerns and wanted it to be something special." 
The Guitar Hangar Custom Shop Mick Ronson Tribute Les Paul is the only officially licensed Mick Ronson guitar on the planet, and can only be ordered exclusively through Guitar Hangar. It is a very special, "one at a time" custom build - never mass produced. We take our time to carefully reproduce Ronson's original "Topless" LP Custom. The result is a guitar that's nearly indistinguishable from the original.
But where is the actual original Mick Ronson Les Paul? Well, after holding onto it for a number of years, a private collector approached Rick and made him an offer he couldn't refuse (don't worry, nobody put a gun to anybody's head). Rick and the prospective buyer met a number of times, and after some negotiation and back-and-forth, Rick decided that the Ronson guitar would be in good hands with this collector. Finally, Ronson's guitar was heading home. From travelling the globe with Bowie and Ronson, to being stuck behind glass in a chain restaurant in Australia, to Brookfield Connecticut, finally the Ronson guitar was on its way back to the UK, where it sits to this day. Don't worry - she's in good hands. 

-- Rick Tedesco, 2014

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