The guitar Gibson copied: Greco Super Real RS-90 1989
Greco is one of the first and most important “lawsuit guitar brand” of Japan. This means they were making copies of american guitars, often too close to the real deal, close enough that Gibson and Fender alike felt compelled to sue them, more than once. Greco’s copycat era climaxed in 1981 with their “Super Real” series, which are highly collectible and extremely rare models.
Although the Super Real Project supposedly lived only through 1981, the 1988 Greco RS-90 (or RS-900) sports the “Super Real Project” label. Even more interesting, it might be an original design. The Gibson ES-137, closest sibling of the RS 90, was release in… 2002. Did Gibson copy a japanese maker?
Edit: Before the ES-137, there was the much older ES-135. The ES-137 is very much inspired by the ES-135, so this is a bit of a stretch. But the trapeze tailpiece on the ES-135 doesn’t work with this “Super Real Project” scenario. Kudos to Bay State Vintage Guitars for the comment.