Doc Brown sets the DeLorean to 2014, arrives at CES to shill for Gibson

Gallery Photo: Christopher Lloyd and the DeLorean pictures

When Marty McFly uses your guitar to introduce the world to rock 'n' roll and "Johnny B. Goode," your marketing department is pretty much set forever. So when it's your 120th anniversary, and you're at CES 2014, a place where a replica Back to The Future DeLorean is basically a celebrity, there's really only one thing Gibson could do. Get a DeLorean, get Christopher Lloyd to get out of it (apparently Michael J. Fox was otherwise engaged) and play the same ES-345 guitar Marty used to scandalize the Hill Valley High School crowd in 1955, and watch the money pile up.

Just for good measure, maybe also get someone to hand Dr. Emmett Brown a blue set of Google Glass. Welcome to CES 2014.

Gibson's booth is just outside the Verge trailer, next to the Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. After crating in palette after palette of electric guitars, Monday night was the beginning of an evening ritual: deafening concerts for the many middle-aged businessmen who populate CES every year. (Tonight, it's Huey Lewis and the News covers.) But on Tuesday morning, with only the bottom of a DeLorean peeking out of the bottom of a cover, a different kind of buzz started. And at 4PM, Lloyd showed up, took a lap in the car (which, since it doesn't drive itself and probably can't even drift, is now incredibly out of date), and spent a few minutes pretending he played the guitar. Then he, the time-travel-discovering Emmett Brown, fumbled around with Google Glass as he took a set from someone in the crowd. His concert was brief, but crowded, and Doc Brown quickly became a story at CES.

It was all part of an elaborate event from Gibson, during which Lloyd “traveled back” to 1894 to see Gibson's very first guitars (some now worth millions of dollars). Because at CES, everything is a marketing gimmick. But unlike bringing Michael Bay up to talk about your curved TVs or asking Shaq to hawk your HDMI cables, bringing out the Back to the Future gang is awesome.

But we missed Biff Tannen.

Photography by Michael Shane

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.