Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page cuts the ribbon on London's brand new Gibson Garage guitar shop

From left, James Bay, Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page and Brian May pose at the launch of Gibson Garage London (Dave Hogan/Hogan Media/Shutterstock)
From left, James Bay, Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page and Brian May pose at the launch of Gibson Garage London (Dave Hogan/Hogan Media/Shutterstock)

Guitar lovers need not fret ‒ the American brand Gibson has just opened a brand new shop in the capital. Rock legends Jimmy Page, Brian May and Tony Iommi were all in attendance, with Page cutting the ribbon to mark the official opening.

London’s new Gibson Garage is inspired by the guitar-maker’s Nashville flagship. Inside, there’s a showroom where musicians can try out and buy guitars, including many of the brand’s most iconic models: such as the classic Les Paul model (as seen during David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era) and Slash’s go-to, the devil-horned Gibson SG. Some of their most colourful offerings whir around the ceiling, hanging from conveyor belts.

Also on display are Gibson’s other brands: Epiphone, Kramer, MESA/Boogie, and Maestro.

At the opening, Gibson announced an ongoing collaboration with Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, who is now partnering with the Garage. “When I met with [president and chief executive] Cesar [Gueikian] and he explained what the future of Gibson looked like, I knew I needed to be involved,” Page said. “There is a spirit in the place; after seeing the people working at the factories and getting a connection with them, I knew that picking up that Les Paul Custom and the Doubleneck all those years ago was certainly the right decision.”

As with Gibson’s Nashville flagship, London’s Garage has its own Made 2 Measure counter for ordering bespoke, custom designed guitars. There’s also a vintage Ms. Pac-Man machine in a room known as the Kramer arcade.

Beyond the showroom, though, there’s also an events area in the basement for live performances and Q&As. At the opening event, Miles Kane and James Bay did the honours of playing the Gibson Garage for the first time.

“As a musician, even just holding a guitar for the first time was transformative,” said indie musician Bay. “Then there was the first picked melody, the first blisters on my fingers, and still I went back for more. It’s something I’ll just never tire of. The launch of the Gibson Garage London can be such a vital space for creativity and inspiration for anyone and especially youngsters wanting to learn to play. I'm sure the opening of these doors will ignite not only lifelong passions but will lead to such an exciting new generation of guitar players.”

The space also features a gallery wall, which will rotate twice a year. The first exhibition will celebrate the work of music photographer Gered Mankowitz, known for shooting rock legends such as The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Kate Bush, Elton John, The Jam, Eurythmics, and Oasis over the past 50 years.

“It’s really great that Gibson have chosen London to create a new Gibson Garage,” said Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi. “It’s not your average guitar shop-it’s a place where musicians can go to get inspired. Whatever style of player you may be there’s such a wide variety of guitars to choose from.”

“The new Gibson Garage London will be just what we all used to dream a guitar shop should be,” added Queen icon Sir Brian May. “A place where a young player can feel welcome and mix with the finest instruments, amps, and ancillary gear – and not be told to keep their hands to themselves!”

“It's a new era in Rock – and the Twang is still the Thang!” he added.

The Gibson Garage London opens to the public on February 24 from 10am. Find it on at 61-62 Eastcastle St, London