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Compiled by Terry Kilburn
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Gibson Guitartown London

Friday, May 4, 2007

Update – 15th June 2007

Mark and a host of other well-known British musicians such as Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Paul Weller and Brian May, have joined forces with a number of British artists including Sir Peter Blake, Gerald Scarfe and Andrew Logan, to support Gibson Guitartown London, a major initiative launched in the UK by US guitar makers Gibson. The artists are busy painting thirty 10ft high fibreglass models of the Gibson Les Paul which will displayed close to London’s Tower Bridge for ten weeks commencing late June. At the same time, thirty standard sized, hand-painted Gibson SG models will be exhibited at The O2 in near-by Greenwich. Each of the model guitars is to be signed by an associated musician and auctioned, with proceeds going to support The Prince’s Trust , Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, and Teenage Cancer Trust . For more information on Gibson Guitartown London, please visit www.londonguitartown.com.

One of the 10ft Les Paul models has actually been made by a group of inmates at Pentonville Prison in the UK under the art direction of Mike Cahillane of the prison’s Education Team. Calling themselves ‘the Ville Boys’, they worked in the Health Department of Pentonville to intricately design their 10ft Les Paul with a montage of images representing the influence of the guitar and artists over the years. Art plays an important role in the prison’s rehabilitation programme. Nick Leader, Governor of HMP Pentonville, said the project had been “a collaboration between the main prison and the Health and Education Departments …. We are using this work to encourage change through personal development by empowering the prisoners with necessary skills. This work helps boost self-esteem and confidence whilst nurturing creative abilities.”

Mark is a patron of the charity Music in Prisons and recently paid a visit to the prision to meet the Ville Boys and sign the model Les Paul at a specially arranged art exhibition. Mark says, “The guitar looks amazing and the inmates at Pentonville have done an incredible job to capture the spirit of the featured guitar legends, I hope the guitar sells well when it goes under the hammer.”