Apple Studios

In the same week that rockers Pete Townsend, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen rolled through town, the Windy City said hello to another guitar god. Or, in this case, goddess.

In honor of Cheryl Berman’s 50th birthday last month, Leo Burnett’s creative and production departments presented their chief creative officer with a limited-edition Chet Atkins SST Gibson guitar. The drool-inducing instrument, which has a solid spruce top, mahogany back and Chromyte reinforcement, is a favorite of such notables as Dave Matthews and Travis Tritt. It can be played electric or acoustic and, as luck would have it, comes with stars up the neck (Leo Burnett’s motto is, “Reach for the stars”). The staff apparently had to gather spare change from under the cushions of every available couch: The basic SST models go for somewhere around $1,500.

“When I leave Burnett, I’ll use it to tour,” Berman jokes. “Hopefully, I’ll be better than I was at 16.”

Burnett insiders report that it won’t be long before Berman, who has been known to perform at open-mike sessions at the agency, joins worldwide creative officer Michael Conrad in a rendition of Conrad’s infamous “Stairway to Seven” (a reference to Burnett’s internal ad ranking system). Failing that, she can always go on the road with Crazy Horse.