The 1959 Gibson Les Paul Sunburst

When it comes to electric guitars, the two most popular have always been the Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul. Though both are solidbody electric guitars, their individual styles and sounds are completely different. An early Fender Stratocaster can go for around $100,000; however, vintage Les Paul’s are much more sought after. For instance, the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Sunburst is the holy grail of guitar collecting and playing. A few years ago, while on vacation in Nashville, I stopped by Gruhn’s Guitars. I heard that they had a 59 Les Paul, and I wanted to see it up close and take a picture of it. They agreed, and we proceeded to the 2nd floor, which held many rare, important, historic instruments. But it didn’t take my eyes long to spot my life’s dream. There it was. The 59 Les Paul. The finish was faded on the top, because of exposure to sunlight, but it was still the most beautiful guitar I’d ever seen. I took a picture of the guitar, then the store worker asked if I wanted to take a picture, holding the guitar. I, of course, wanted to! So, there I was, holding a historic 1959 Gibson Les Paul. Before handing it back to him, I asked how much it was. I knew I could never afford it, but I was just wanting to know, for curiosity’s sake. He said “I’ll tell ya what. If you’ve got $158,000 in your pocket, I’ll let you walk out the door with it!” I handed it right back.

Great short documentary about the 59 Les Paul:
George Gruhn’s Guitar Show, featuring the same Les Paul I held:


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