‘The Real Ones’ - A history of G&L


Starting with its 20th anniversary in 2000, every 5 years G&L has celebrated the occasion by releasing something special. Of the 20th Anniversary model, 50 were built between August and December 2000. The 25th Anniversary model was released a year late with production of the 250 guitars not starting until February 2006! Both of these Anniversary models are also discussed as part of the Custom Creations Department (CCD) Limited Editions.

In 2010, the 30th anniversary of G&L was not celebrated with a limited edition but rather a 30th Anniversary Collection consisting of a variety of production models. Initially, an ASAT Special, ASAT Classic, F-100, Legacy, and L-2000 were included with an ASAT Bass, ASAT Classic Bluesboy, S-500, and SB-2/SB-2T added later. They were offered in a special Pearl Frost finish, a clear reference to the traditional (wedding) anniversary gift for such a year, and with a specially designed 30th Anniversary logo on the back of the headstock. Originally, orders would be taken until the end of December 2010, but they were still taken even in January of 2012, according to Steve Grom (then) at G&L.

Similarly, instruments in the 35th Anniversary Collection could be ordered from September through December 2015, with an ASAT Classic Bluesboy, ASAT Special, Legacy, LB-100, and M-2000 in the lineup. The finish was an Emerald Green Metallic, since an emerald is the traditional gemstone for such an anniversary. However, in some places emeralds are associated with a 55th anniversary whereas coral is proper for a 35th anniversary. This may explain why G&L was testing out a Sunset Coral finish the year prior as seen on e.g. this late-2014 ASAT Classic Bluesboy Alnico Semi-Hollow, found in the prototype section. Both ASAT models in the 35th Anniversary Collection came with an Original Leo Spec (OLS) body depth of 1.625” (1⅝”) as used in the mid-1980s, instead of the BBE-era 1.780” used at that time. The OLS option had been available since May 2015 and became the default on all ASAT guitars and ASAT Basses again as of February 2017. It should also be noted that Emerald Green Metallic is still available as a standard finish on all instruments thereby reducing the exclusivity of the 35th Anniversary Collection.

For its ruby 40th anniversary in 2020 G&L offered a much smaller collection of instruments in comparison to its previous 2 lustra: only 2 guitars and 2 basses. The hookless headstock, harkening back to G&L’s formative days as well as those instruments built under the current CLF Research label, had the 40th Anniversary logo etched on their back and used Kluson tuning machines for both guitars. The S-500 and SB-1 had an okoumé body in Clear Ruby Red finish, either a maple or Chechen fingerboard, and were produced until all orders were fulfilled, akin to how the 30th and 35th Anniversary Collections were handled. But the company also returned to what made the 20th Anniversary and the 25th Anniversary models truly special. The lineup included a Custom Shop 40th Anniversary Espada and Custom Shop 40th Anniversary L-2000, both having an okoumé body with a 3A quilted maple top finished in Clear Ruby Red Thin Urethane and a roasted, highly figured maple neck. Of course these 2 exclusive instruments came in a G&L Custom Shop hardshell case with embroidered logo on the inside of the lid. When announced, it was stated this limited run would consist of 40 pieces each. But tallying the totals at the end of 2021, a mere 8 guitars and 10 basses had been registered, likely due to the CoViD-19 pandemic raging that year. Note that another 2 guitars, i.e. CS2020052 and CS2020054, and 1 bass, CS2020113, may exist.


History: Anniversary models/collections