The result of a collaboration between Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford and British luthier Roger Giffin, Steinberger’s first full-bodied design, the M-Series guitar, was released in May 1987. This GM 3T model was custom-made by Steinberger Sound Corporation, Newburgh, New York, to accommodate David Gilmour’s requirements, including a Transposing Tremolo system, EMG SA pickups and an SPC presence control. The accompanying sales invoice indicates that the guitar was shipped directly from Steinberger to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, on 17th November, ahead of Pink Floyd’s performance on 18th November 1987 during the first North American leg of their A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour. As the first North American leg came to an end on 10th December 1987, Gilmour appeared with the guitar for an instrumental performance of Song For My Sara on the American late night television show Saturday Night Live on 12th December 1987. The guitar was subsequently shipped back to the UK while Gilmour continued to tour through to July 1989.
In August 1989, Gilmour teamed up with a stellar roster of prog rock and metal musicians including Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor to re-record the 1972 Deep Purple hit Smoke on the Water as a charity single for Rock Aid Armenia, to benefit victims of the 1988 Armenian earthquake. Gilmour chose the Steinberger GM 3T to record his guitar parts alongside Brian May at Metropolis Studios in West London on 5th August 1989. On what was the first occasion that the two legendary guitarists had played together, Gilmour and May can be seen trading licks in the documentary Rock Aid Armenia: The Making of Smoke on the Water, released the same year on VHS. Gilmour was last seen with the GM 3T for a performance of The Temptations’ 1965 hit My Girl with Jools Holland and Lenny Henry at London’s Sadler’s Wells theater on 18th September 1989 for the AIDS benefit Hysteria II.