“I had a 1961 SG Custom Shop reissue that I wanted painted in Epiphone’s old finish called “Silver Fox”, just like the soon to be released ‘Brian Ray ’63 SG’ (by Gibson) I’ve been playing with Paul McCartney lately. Gord Miller copied my new SG’s black see-through finish perfectly, replaced my Lyre Vibrato arm with a Montreux Parts nickel stop tailpiece. It came out great, as he used Nitro Cellulose in his finish. I highly recommend GM Restorations for all your guitar finishing needs.”
“Gord Miller puts his passion and love for guitars into his work and the results are stunning. Relicing in it’s tangible form is cosmetics and carpentry, but Gord finds the soul and mojo in every instrument he commits himself to. It’s an art that goes beyond craftsmanship.”
I’ve had these two old Jaguars around for years. One was bought in a pawn shop and the other I got from our drummer when he joined the band in 2001. They were both pretty screwed. Weird electronics and refin over refin dating back to who knows when. On our new record I only used one of the best ’65 jags I’d ever played and when it came to launching the show I had the idea of getting these two old jags supped up for the road. I asked around about who was the best and Gordon’s name came up more than once. He was a pleasure to talk to and come up with ideas of what would be cool. Ebony and Ivory were born. When I got these things back I was blown away by the transformation. Not only are they a pleasure to play but they look fantastic and are probably worth double what they were. Gord is the man!
“Hi Gord, Well I got the Firebird back and I have to say I’m really blown away at how well it came out. The results where beyond my expectations. I feel like an old friend has returned to me and it is in every way as it should be; a 47 year old guitar with a beautiful vintage feel, sound and playability. It’s like the time that it was in pieces never existed. Your work is truly artistic and stellar. Thanks again so much. I will be in touch; I’m thinking about other projects.”
“I recently sent off to Gord my 2006 Gretsch White Falcon to be repainted and aged. Before Mr. Miller got his hands on it she was way too white and bling, with a real cheesy plastic style feel to the thick paint job. It went on a long journey to the other side of Canada, and when the bird flew back home it was a changed guitar for the better. I’m still shocked at how totally cool it looks and how much the nitro paint job improved the sound of an already nice intrument.
You will not come across anytime soon a man like Gord Miller who pushes the limit through extremely high quality guitar restorations, determination to get the look of a fifty year old paint job dead on, and a fellow Canadian not afraid of serious hard work. Just ask him how long it took to hand sand the thick epoxy primer off my guitar!
Through perseverance, dedication, and leading by example G M Vintage Restorations roars into the limelight. My Gretsch thanks you from the bottom of its wooden heart!”
“I swear there was celestial music coming from somewhere as I opened the box. Kind of like opening the Holy Grail in Raiders of the Lost Arc with the bright light shining out… “
“I wanted my left handed 1956 goldtop reissue to more closely resemble the genuine article. With amazing craftsmanship and attention to detail, Gord transformed my Historic Les Paul into a virtual clone of a vintage mid-fifties goldtop. The finish, the aging, even moving the “Gibson” pearl inlay to the proper position on the headstock, were done perfectly. I was also impressed that Gord listens to what I, as the customer wanted, and he delivered! Gord is a class act!”
Hi Gord, Back in 2009/2010 you refinished, relic’d and le-located the “Gibson” inlay on my left handed 2007 Les Paul Historic. Well, she and I have been through a lot together these last six years. In 2012 I had the pickup routes filled, re-routed and installed PAFs, as the P-90 hum was driving me crazy. I had acquired all vintage parts for her, except pickup rings, and would take her to guitar shows, where even the most astute vintage dealers would check her out and be fooled by the quality of your work. Last year, I traded her off to get a 2012 R8 flametop, which a full “RDS” makeover by Historic Makeovers. In March I was able to bring her back home again, and that’s where she’ll stay. In fact, the R8 hasn’t seen a single gig, or even a rehearsal since the goldtop came home. “Goldie”, as she’s known and I have played countless gigs together, and after these several years I just wanted to contact you, and say thanks for a job well done. Also thought you’d appreciate knowing of the compliments that have come about the guitar from vintage dealers who’ve seen her. One in particular said, “even Historic Makeovers couldn’t do work like that!” These days, the vintage parts are gone, replaced by modern repro parts, but “Goldie” is every bit as cool, and I’m still really happy with the job you did for me.
“Absolutely Gord, I can say without a doubt that the work was done with true genius. I have already shown the guitar to several people in the business and all of them are just in awe of the work. I have fielded many questions concerning the job. All agree that the guitar looks entirely stock. A lot of discussion about what it’s worth now, verses what it would be worth with a normal refin. It makes me happy to have an instrument that not only myself likes, but others hold in high esteem. Awesome job my friend! I am so much more than happy with the results. I feel like I got your best. I feel like I own the real deal, like an original painting. Thank you so much Gord. You are a gifted man. You can use whatever you want for your referral including calling me personally. I believe in your talent and work ethic. You rule Gord!! Anything I can do for you at all, at any time just call my friend. “
“Here it is! With real PAFS, this lightweight custom shop LP is now complete. With GM Vintage aging on the factory finish and aged Montreux
parts, it’s completely RAD and sounds and looks like half a million bucks!”
“After seeing some examples of Gord’s fabulous work, I sent my ’62 Precision and ’60 Jazz Bass off with pretty high expectations.
Those expectations were not just met but exceeded, by a large margin. Gord’s eye for, and ability to accurately replicate vintage colours is ridiculous – nobody gets a 2 and a half tone Fender sunburst this good! His attention to detail is amazing, and his aging is realistic and sympathetic to the instrument. The finished product is stunningly good.
I couldn’t recommend GM Vintage Restorations any higher – Gord you are a master!”
“I am so pleased with the results of the makeover of my 1990’s Gibson Les Paul black beauty guitar. Kudos to Gord miller for the terrific job he did turning a suspect instrument into a great player. The level of detail on the aging of it, is of the highest quality and I finally feel like I want to pick up and play this guitar a lot. Thank you Gord for the wonderful work! Looking forward to trying some more ideas with you.
Sincerely, Keith Scott.”
“Good Afternoon Mr. Genius!!!!!!!
Wow, My guitar showed up yesterday. I opened the case quickly to have a peek and I was like wow really cool. Then I took it out this morning in the light. Fantastic! I want to send you all my new Gibsons. Your work is just amazing. I can not believe the detail. I always loved this guitar but now. Well, maybe I have a new main guitar. I am going to take pictures of it next week to send some of my friends. Expect a call from at least one of them.
I can not think you enough. It was money well spent. Whoever thought, hey I need to spend money to have my guitar beat up! Well, it is great I am really happy and will have you do some things in the future.
Once again Bravo!”
My Guitars arrived yesterday ahead of schedule with out any hiccups from our friends at Customs. If it’s possible they are both better than than the Gold top you had done years ago for me. You really have a back for fabricating a vintage vibe for newer guitars and I have no idea how you do it. They were both great candidates as they were really good newer guitars. Made at a time when the Modern Gibson was on fire in my opinion. You have vastly improved they way they feel. As if I had played them for 40 years. They look incredible. You have breathed new life into them and I can not thank you enough. It was money well spent. They have come out of their cases and back into the fold 🙂 A Job Well Done. I can not sing your praises enough. I have seen other guitars out there that have been aged and they do not hold a candle to your work. The other thing people should know is there is no hassle or problem to send them to Canada. That should not be in the equation. Once again thank you. You are a Master at what you do for a very reasonable price as well. Glad I found you!
All the best, Michael Lockwood
“Hello Gord, I am so amazed. Simply incredible work. I would like to say that your work is outstanding, I am truly honored to have you performed your artistic magic on my instrument! Just over the top! Thank you Gord from the bottom of my heart. I love the photos, I’m really blown away by the work. I’m 50 yrs old & have seen many refin projects, some by famous people, some by relatively unknown people. I personally own 3 guitars that have been refin’ed. I would have no problem swearing that your work was original to the guitar if I didn’t know better! Don’t know what else to say sir, you are the best. I believe you are simply the very best in the world. Many seek to attain your level of excellence in their craft, few achieve it. Very few. I could not be happier with the way this project turned out. The communication was outstanding, you are a pleasure to work with. I will always own the guitar, my son will get it when I’m gone. I will cherish the instrument even more now, thank you my friend. You Da Man!!! “
“Believe it or not, the guitar arrived today!!!! You must have good connections with the Post Office. (LOL)
I’m very very pleased with your work and cannot thank you enough for a GREAT job. It really looks GREAT. I wasn’t able to play it too much as it came late in the day as I was going out. I will put it through its paces in the next day or two. It looks SO MUCH better and has a great vibe to it. I’m one happy customer. Thanks again!!!!!!”
“Gord did the conversion of my ’56 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop Standard to all cherry red finish, routed for humbuckers. He was a pleasure to work with including tolerating my many emails regarding color shade, etc. Like a true vintage guitar nut he understands the obsession with myriad details of a project but, hey, that is all part of the fun! Gord’s vintage guitar knowledge is extensive, allowing him to consult and provide guidance on every aspect of the project and that is much appreciated! “
“Gord, Wanted to drop you a line to thank you for the wonderful work you did on my guitar. I really couldn’t have dreamed that it would come out that nice. Very three dimensional finish that looks different each time you look at it. I don’t think pictures can truly capture that element in your work.I was good with just the pictures that you sent but when I opened the case for the first time with my wife standing there, we both were totally silent for at least a minute.It was a reverent moment. No kidding.Great job all around on everything you and Blair did. I don’t even think I’d spend the cash on a real ’59 after getting this one back. So authentic looking and the workmanship is the best. Thanks a million times over. Jim “
“I sent my 53′ Les Paul to Gord Miller to be renecked and refinshed with a nice relic job and 54′ specs. When I found this guitar, the neck was gone and it had been refinished clear, with a 65′ strat neck bolted on it(go figure!). I just recieved the LP back from Gord and GM Restorations, and all I can say is what a great job! So much attention to detail, including a great relic job that looks just right. Not only is this now a beautiful instrument, but it plays like a dream! Special thanks to Gord and GM Restorations for a job well done, I will definately have more work for you in the future!”
Gord make’s all your Rock and Roll dreams come true…. better than drugs ….. A master of relic….keep Rockin Gord !!!!!
Aloha Bob Rock!!!
“Gord Miller is our go-to guy for amazing guitar restoration work. I had a mid-70s black Gibson LP Custom that Gord rebuilt and reliced to the specs of an original ’60 version (à la Steve Marriott). I was blown away with the results. If you need pro restoration work done on your guitar, Gord’s definitely your man!”
“I needed a ’59 Les Paul Junior in my life but I wanted it to feel and
sound exactly a certain way so I told Gord about my dreams and he not
only sourced the perfect late 50’s P-90 and bridge but he figured all
the rest out and finished it exactly as I had imagined. It’s one of my
“top three main guitars” now. It says “Gordon” not “Gibson”!
“I started my guitar-project 1½ year ago. My goal was to build a guitar to my specifications. I wanted a Strat and I wanted it to look vintage, my template was a sunburst 57 Strat used but not abused, but modern feel, easy to play and a killer-sound for blues and rock. This was not going to be a copy of a Fender, it was going to have is own life – my Part-o-Caster. I picked three sources for my project USA Vintage Guitar for the wood-parts, Callaham Guitars for hardware and electronics and Gord Miller at GM Vintage Restorations for the paintwork. Without running into details and instead focus on the appetence of my guitar, I gave Gord my spec, 28 pages (not only the paint-work though) what I wanted and what I did not want…
This is the incredible part, considering my friends constantly picked on me for choosing someone on the other side of earth, Gord checked my spec, added some questions and we spoked once on the phone – In some way Gord crawled into my vision and replicated exactly what I wanted, a beautiful sunburst with deep yellow centre-part spreading to in a perfect transition to the darker edges, almost like a three tone burs. The neck is as well replicated. All made in nitro and relic-treated – used but not abused, appearance like someone who loved the instrument has played it for many years.
I also added the plastic parts from Gord. They are Fatboy parts that I added to get the final vintage vib and match the distressed hardware.
Small curiosa in this – Gord sent me pictures during the progress of his work. I remembered when I got the first picture when the body was painted, before it was reliced, that job was so well done I almost regretted I specified the relic-treatment. I never thought it was possible top this, but he did. Astonishing job…
To any who reads this – I give Gord all my best recommendation. Words that that comes through my mind is sensitivity to my wishes, constructive feedback on parts that could be improved based on his experience, without being pushy… in other words professional and an great artist.
Guess who is going to do the paint-job in my next project…?”
“Hi Gord, just got back last night and looked and my Strat, all I can say is WOW! It is a work of art and I can’t thank you enough! I love the aging of the paint, the finish, everything. Your work is incredible. I will put it together today with the electronics and send you a couple of pics. I’m now thinking of doing a crazy heavy relic 60’s black Strat with maple neck now! Thanks again!”
“… you have ridiculous mad game, bro … it is immaculate and exactly what I envisioned … the neck is killer and a double hand full … love the detailing at the neck butt and the guard is to DIE for … we’re gonna have to come up with a better word than awesome or perfect or pristine for your work cuz those just DON’T MEASURE UP … we much appreciate your talent and devotion and your contributions to the Addiction … you’re the BEST …”
“Gord, Upon receiving my refinished guitar in the mail, I was unsure of what to expect. I slowly opened the package and after studying the guitar for a few minutes, I have to admit I was extremely impressed. The work was impeccable – the aging finish was perfect and the relicing was exactly what I wanted (the 15% was totally accurate as to how it should have looked). The non-aging under the pickguard and neck plate was also dead-on. After I put the guitar back together, it just wails! It’s the envy of all my friends – they are constantly trying to purchase it from me. I will highly recommend you, Gord, for the excellent work you have done on my ’72 Tele.
“I was referred to Gord by a good friend who has been around vintage guitars for over twenty years. He spoke highly of the quality of the restorations, and acknowledged Gord to do some of the finest work he has seen. Having my 50’s goldtop delivered after the restoration was quite exciting! Not only was the detail work excellent, but the small nuances which most would ignore or not even attempt was what set the work apart. I also have the luxury of comparing to an original fifties goldtop and can certainly say that the work is excellent”
“Where should I start? How about “WOW”! My story is not unlike many others except that we’re starting with a real 1953 Les Paul that is to be converted to a ’56 and refinned in its original “all GOLD” finish. This was a major project and I’m going to keep this as brief as possible and let the pictures tell the real story. When I got this guitar it had almost none of the original parts and had been refinished in the red of the Gibson Customs of the 70’s. Nothing major though, no broken neck or headstock, just some real minor routing for the mini-humbuckers etc., BUT… an authentic ’53 body and neck with original pots and wire harness. The guitar played well but had some issues to be sure!
See more pics of this fine guitar in the Examples section…
Gord came highly recommended to do the gold top as he has a real knack for nailing that vintage color and does outstanding relic work. So, I called Gord and talked to him and got some info regarding the neckset etc. I wasn’t sure if it was really necessary but he assured me that his Luthier partner was a Les Paul crafting wizard and it wouldn’t be a problem for him to accomplish this job with amazing results. So, I said what the heck, lets do it. I bought all the Vintage ’50s parts needed to convert to ’56 specs, drove on up to Victoria to meet Gord, see his shop and get this project rolling…
Fast forward 3 months. When I arrived this time, Gord picked me up at the Victoria Clipper dock as this is actually an easier way to get there from Seattle than driving. So, for the unveiling…..jaw drops….almost speechless…..oh my god! The guitar looks absolutely FANTASTIC!!….beautiful goldtop color, unreal lacquer checking that gives it MAJOR coolness and vibe, the neckset is totally perfect!! No one and I mean no one could tell this neck has been reset! This guitar is the real deal!
I couldn’t be happier with the work that they have done and what a super nice guy to deal with to boot! Thanks again Gord and we’ll be in touch.”
“In my opinion a refinish by Gordon Miller is not only the absolute best and most educated historical enhancement to a guitar needing that work but is SO good that I believe it creates a whole new price niche in between the normal discounting for a refinish and original one.
His work looks factory, his aging looks like it could not have happened except over time, and his work will make your restored guitar worth as much as it could possibly be all circumstances considered!”
“…Gord took my completely stripped 55 Les Paul and returned it to it’s original but used glory. Keeping in close touch with me and allowing me to make decisions thru each process, the guitar was returned in a very reasonable time period. Gord truly realizes and shares in the emotion that we all have surrounding a great vintage piece……..Yup he is just as sick as the rest of us.”
“I’m so happy with this guitar. Gord Miller took a brand new good guitar and turned it into a fantastic instrument that looks and feels like it’s been around. Warmed up. Broken in. It now has a real vibe and makes me want tot go pick it up and play. I know I’ll get some music out of this one. Thank you Gord”
Photo (c) 2007 Monica Frisell
“Several years ago, I was referred to Gord Miller regarding the restoration of my two old vintage Fender guitars. The referral came from Larry Cragg (trusted guitar tech for Neil Young for 30+ years), of San Anselmo, CA.
I made an initial call to Gord to discuss what I was hoping for. I had two old Fenders that needed TLC. I eventually had numerous conversations with Gord re: my options. Gord was full of thoughts and suggestions. We talked in detail of what is possible these days in guitar restoration. I just happened to see a couple of his guitars at a vendors booth for the travelling Texas Guitar Shows. People spoke fondly of Mr Miller and his work. I decided to box up and ship both guitars to him.
After Gord received my guitars, we again spent a lot of time discussing (email & phone) what was possible. It turned out my old 1961 strat had a neck replacement in 1968, thereby making restoration (in my opinion) not worth the effort. Gord’s resources kicked in and with his help, the old strat was parted out. I was amazed at the deal(s) he found me, so the strat was sold as parts. I was happy:)
We then concentrated on the restoration of the 1963 Tele I bought new while still in high school. It had been mistreated poorly over many years of use and abuse. There were big chips out of the wood. I had “refinished” the Tele many times over the years. It was worth little except for a trained eye. So, Gord and I worked out what “we” could do with the guitar. With Gord’s help, we fixed and corrected problems with it. Parts to be replaced were no problem. Gord obviously has great resources, and flat out was a great big help!
I was in no big hurry. Gord and I spoke several times during the process, discussing problems and fixes and let the process take it’s course. “Can’t push a river”!
My excitement and anticipation built until my delivery arrived. It looks and plays wonderful. It (Tele) started my current collection, and is now a star with numerous other collectables. Gord Miller gave me the time and confidence to know I made the right decision. The proof is in a guitar that now receives its deserved attention. Thank you Mr. Miller!!!
Gord says the guitar should now be worth some surprising money. That’s nice, but it’ll stay with me until…………….”
“Hi Gord-the neck arrived safe and sound on Tuesday. The finish looks perfect-not too much shine, but not forced either. The checking on the headstock is dead on, and it will match my original finish jazzmaster body beautifully. Thank you again. Your work is stunning. I look forward to future projects with you.”
“Gord Miller is an incredible artist of guitar finish restoration. He has done amazing work on several guitars for me and I am now waiting to receive three more. His level of craft and attention to detail is fantastic. He has a real passion for these old guitars and it shows in the work that he does.
My basketcase 56 strat that he restored is now my favorite due to the beauty of the sunburst and the fact that it looks as real as my original finish 55 strat. Gord has been a dream
come true for all my funky old bad refins! Another great thing about Gord is his cordial and friendly personality. I enjoy dealing with someone who is responsible and completely trustworthy. I highly recommend his work and service.”
“I just received my second custom built guitar from Gord, an Inca Silver early sixties strat, and it is a knock-out! Gord has a strong intuitive sense of what makes a guitar feel like it’s been your number one for the last twenty years. A spot-on aged finish with just the right amount of weather checking and wear, a comfortable neck with the fingerboard edges worn and rounded, seemingly from years of playing; Gord’s attention to detail illuminate his passion and respect for the Golden Age of electric guitar! Thanks Gord.”
“I’ve known Gord for 20 years. His refinishes have tons of vibe and mojo, and definitely increase the value of any old stripped guitar. Gord is the Yoda of vintage guitar restoration!”
“Gord came highly recommended to restore my 64 strat case. After talking with him by phone and e-mail, I was sure he was a true craftsman. He transformed the case from a unusable relic, back to a sturdy, functional, collectable piece. I could not be happier with his work. Thanks again, Gord.”
“My experience working with Gord has been a real pleasure. I’ve been throwing some real “finish nightmares” at him with my Reso Teles, Flame maple amp cabs, and solid-wood pickup covers. He approaches each one with care and a dedication not only to his craft but to me as his customer.”
“I had been working on-and-off on a semi-hollow Tele project for several years and kind of stalled at the finishing stage. Gord had previously refinished two guitars for me and I knew he was up for the job. I’m 100% satisfied with the results and his professional approach to working with me to ensure he understood what I wanted. I’ve gotten more positive feedback on the appearance of this guitar body than any other!”
had the guitar out today …gold medal for packing gord ?????? i can see why u never suffer breakage .. top work and i love the guitar pal bang on thanks a lot …. you got it perfect… its on my website now i think billyduffy.com
see ya soon
“I did a lot of research on who I wanted to do the finish work on my Les Paul. I must have spoken to a half dozen luthiers, including Gord, and heard what everyone had to say about taking on this job. Gord was very in touch with what I wanted done and was also willing to add his own perspective on completing the project. Gord did an incredible job and kept in very close touch with me during every step of the way.
I opted to meet Gord in person and take the trip to Victoria to pick up the guitar myself. The instant I saw the guitar I knew I had made the right choice. The color and the aging was spot on. It was also very nice to get a tour of the town, have lunch and meet a truly nice guy. I definitely made a new friend out of the deal as well.
I can not express enough how perfect of a finish job he did and his attention to detail, making sure that the guitar stayed with in 100% original specs. I would recommend Gord’s finish and aging work to anyone who wants that perfect, head turning guitar that will not settle for less. Thanks again, Gord. “
“Gord did an exceptional job on my ’57 Stratocaster, which when purchased had a ‘chocolateburst’ rustoleum spray-can finish and oversprayed neck. Fortunately the original body finish lay untouched under the pickguard, so Gord was able to do a near exact color-match of his relic refinish to the original. The neck overspray was thin enough for Gord to remove without impacting the original nitro finish, which he followed up with an ever-so-light nitro touch up where needed. The end result is what appears to be an ‘under the bed’ relic, with a neck that looks and feels as good as any original finish 50’s Fender you’ll every play.”
“No detail is too small for Gord. The passion he has for getting it right becomes quite evident after the second or third phone call. He must have called me ten times over the 2-3 weeks that he worked on the guitar, going over options and explaining processes. The finished product looked so good I had him do another one for me.”
“As an avid collector for the past twenty years, I’ve generally shied away from refinished or modified guitars, knowing the impact such changes have on value. After having Gord work his wonders on a ’57 Strat and a ’63 Esquire Custom, I now find myself scanning eBay for botched refins with routed pickup cavities, knowing that Gord can bring them back to life as solid players that will look, play and sound far better than anything the Fender Custom Shop has to offer”
“Gord Miller is that sort of rare breed that can channel the much sought after mojo of the craftsmen from that gilded era of American guitar manufacturing–aka the halcyon days of Gibson/Fender/Gretsch magic. But he can also go one better thanks to an uncanny ability to mimic the touch of Father Time himself…you want vibe? Gord will give your guitar vibe and then some.
A few months ago I came across a 1966 non-reverse Gibson Firebird that had been poorly refinished and sabotaged by interlopers. I decided to pick it up just the same thinking how cool it would be to give it the right kind of TLC that would restore a once great guitar to its former glory.
Soon after that, Gord’s services came highly recommended to me by the enthusiastic staff at Emerald City Guitars in Seattle Wa. (Gord’s reputation and skills clearly transcend international boundaries!) And after reviewing the website and visiting the shop in person, there was no doubt in my mind that Gord was the right man for the job. Fast forward to two months to the day that I originally dropped my guitar off with Gord, and I returned to the shop for the ”unveiling” (literally!) and was sincerely amazed at what I saw–there was my ’66 Firebird that had been brought back to life showcasing a vibrant burst that had long ago been extinguished.
Gord had totally exceeded my expectations and not only restored my guitar’s classic look but also gave it back its vibe and most important of all, its dignity. (Not only that, but he also gave me a ride back to the bus stop just to make my trek back to Vancouver a little easier.) In closing, I can’t stress this enough: Gord not only loves what he does, he’s the best there is. On top of all that, he’s a fantastic guy to deal with. End of story.”
And my personal favourite…
” If only Gord had used his super powers for good instead of evil!”