Gibson has just released a Tom Petty signature acoustic guitar inspired by the SJ-200 model the late rock legend had the company make for him in 1996. It was based on one he used while recording his acclaimed solo album, Wildflowers.
The Tom Petty SJ-200 Wildflower was handmade by the expert luthiers and artisans at Gibson Acoustic Custom Shop, with input from Petty’s family and the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s longtime friend and guitar tech, Alan “Bugs” Weidel.
The unique features of the guitar include a Wildflower logo made of mother of pearl on the headstock, a “You Belong Among the Wildflowers” lyric decal on the back of the headstock, and Petty’s signature engraved on the instrument’s double pickguard. Only 100 Tom Petty SJ-200 Wildflower guitars will be produced.
Weidel and frequent Petty studio collaborator George Drakoulias are featured in a YouTube video introducing the Wildflower guitar. In the clip, Drakoulias notes that the guitar has been “decades in the making.”
Weidel then notes, “This [guitar model] was sort of the basis of [the song ‘Wildflowers,’] and Gibson had approached [Tom] about doing a Tom Petty model guitar, and he just figured, ‘Well, this would be the perfect thing. Do a J-200 that I like and call it the Wildflower.”
Adds Drakoulias, “I can see him playing it and [being] very happy.”
Meanwhile, Tom’s daughter Adria says in a statement, “It is so incredible to see the SJ-200 design our Dad worked on so long ago, lovingly brought to fruition…There has been much effort made to make certain this guitar lives up to Tom’s musical standards and the specs he wanted for a best-in-class instrument…It is a beautiful tribute to him.”
The guitar is available at the list price of $9,999.
By Matt Friedlander
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