Credit Memphis Travel
Fans of Gibson’s legendary instruments won’t want to miss an opportunity to check out the Beale Street Showcase in Memphis. When this small company started crafting mandolins in 1894, it likely had no idea the impact it would make on the music world. Today, Gibson is the foremost builder of electric guitars and is best known for their Les Paul and Chet Atkin models, and of course, B.B. King’s Lucille, which ultimately became the guitar of choice for artists like Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Peter Frampton, and John Lennon and George Harrison. Entertaining and informative forty-five minute tours consist of an intimate viewing ( from behind trusty safety goggles ) of the facility as Gibson’s skilled Luthiers craft some of the finest guitars in the world, affording lucky guests an opportunity to witness the entire intricate process of their creation, from binding and neck-fitting to painting, buffing and tuning; these artists turn out the iconic musical instruments that have inspired and shaped some of the most important musical careers in history. Tour tickets can be purchased inside the Gibson Retail Shop, located one block south of Beale Street, directly across from the FedEx Forum and The Westin Hotel; reservations are recommended. Be sure to set aside a little extra time to visit the Gibson Factory Store, where you can pick up a souvenir of your visit, daydream a little, get your hands on and test drive a fabulous selection of special guitars – and maybe even wind up with that Les Paul you’ve been dreaming of!