Gibson guitars have teamed up with the family of Tom Petty to create the SJ-200 Wildflower acoustic guitar. The new six-string is handmade by the expert luthiers and artisans of Gibson Acoustic Custom Shop in Bozeman, Montana.
The Tom Petty SJ-200 Wildflower is inspired by the guitar Gibson made for Tom while he was entering a prolific period of songwriting, recording, and performing around the release of his Wildflowers album.
Petty's daughter, Adria Petty said in a statement announcing the new signature Gibson:
It is so incredible to see the SJ-200 design our Dad worked on so long ago, lovingly brought to fruition with his long-time guitar tech and friend Alan Weidel and the craftsmen and women at Gibson guitars.
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. Alan Weidel has put this instrument through its paces as he has with all Tom Petty signature guitar models.
Tom played the SJ-200 while writing and recording Wildflowers and to us it is an honor and a privilege to have Gibson launch this instrument to celebrate his musical masterpiece. That way others can make what my Dad called “the big jangle” a reference to that gorgeous, big, SJ-200 acoustic sound he loved.
We hope fans and members of the music community alike enjoy this beautiful instrument as much as we do. It is a beautiful tribute to him.
Back in 2017 during his MusicCares honor, Tom Petty shed light on the musical melting pot he and the Heartbreakers have always swam in: “We were very influenced by the Rolling Stones. Very influenced by the Byrds — of course the Beatles, y'know, coming of age in the '60s, everyone was influenced by the Beatles (and) Bob Dylan. And then there's more obscure things, like the blues people of the Chess label, y'know, like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf. Lots of blues crept in, but we learned it all second hand, y'know, just being suburban kids. We learned about Chuck Berry from the Rolling Stones and sort of learned it all backwards.”