Rick Nielsen is the godfather of collecting guitars. Even before his days in Cheap Trick, Nielsen was on a mission to gather together some of the rarest and most notable six strings in the entire world.
When he opened his doors to Gibson‘s YouTube channel to survey the massive collection that he had amassed over five decades of searching and buying, Nielsen had plenty of stories to tell.
That includes his acquiring of three late 1950s Gibson ‘Korina’ Flying V guitars. Less than 50 were ever produced, making them some of the rarest guitars in the world. Even host Mark Agnesi, the Director of Brand Experience for Gibson, had never held one in his hands before digging into Nielsen’s vault. All of a sudden, he was faced with three models.
One of the best parts of ‘The Collection’ series is that, even though it’s a Gibson production, it’s not just that company’s guitars that get the spotlight. Take the acknowledgement of Hamer, a brand that specifically designed their guitars based on Gibson’s models and was later bought by rival company Fender. Nielsen is heavily associated with Hamer, and despite the contentious nature between the companies, Gibson is more interested in being true to the artist than they are promoting their own guitars.
Not to say that there aren’t a ton of awesome Gibsons owned by Nielsen. From classic ’59 Sunburst Les Pauls to EMS 1235 Double Necks and ’59 TV Juniors, some of the most sought after guitars in the entire world are in Nielsen’s collection. He’s also happy to show them off, with Nielsen’s enthusiasm for axes never waning in the almost 60 years since getting his first instrument.
Of course, this being Nielsen, no overview of his guitar collection would be complete without pulling out the Hamer ‘Korina’ Five Neck guitar that is so ridiculous and massive that only someone with Nielsen’s outsized personality can pull it off. It’s also sweet how Agnesi refers to Nielsen as ‘Uncle Rick’: Nielsen’s legendarily gregarious demeanour is almost as famous as his love of guitars.
Check out the feature-length look at Nielsen’s collection down below.