My Top 5 Les Paul Guitars Of All Time

I have continued to be a Gibson Les Paul fan for many years and there have been individual Les Pauls, wielded by a few star players that created a big impression on me. They all have a different tone, partly on account of the guitars and their pickups and partly because of the player's style and their amp setup.

So in no specific order, I give you my five favorite Les Pauls of all time:

  1. Billy Gibbons' Pearly Gates - This guitar just oozes Texas blues. A 1959 Sunburst model with one of the sweetest tones ever to come out of a 59 Les Paul. Acquired from finances raised from the sale of a automobile called 'Pearly Gates', this is without doubt the best buy Mr Gibbons ever made. The guitar's pickups alone would cost you an arm and a leg (rumor has it that Billy turned down $5m for this axe!).
  2. Peter Frampton's Black 3 pickup Custom - Who can forget the iconic image of Frampton holding on to this guitar on the cover of the epic 'Frampton Comes Alive'. The guitar gave out a wonderfully musical sound and amazingly it was given him by an extremely generous soul by the name of Mark Mariana. Regrettably this guitar was destroyed in a plane crash in 1980.
  3. Jimmy Page's No1 Standard - A quite amazing 1959 Sunburst model which was purchased by Jimmy from Joe Walsh, who'd insisted that this particular guitar was just right for him. With its scalloped neck and customized electrics including push-pull controls, Jimmy's No1 was definitely his favorite electric guitar and has been described by him as his 'mistress'. This guitar may be heard on any Led Zeppelin album and has been captured in an incredible number of iconic Page images from over the years.
  4. Mick Ronson's Natural Finish Custom - This is the cool Les Paul that can be seen or in virtually any 'David Bowie and the Spiders From Mars' images. This guitar began its life as a solid black 1968 Custom version but Mick had the top sanded off and re-finished. Mick played this guitar amazingly on all the Spiders' acclaimed albums.
  5. Eric Clapton's 'Beano' Les Paul - Described by some as the one that kicked it all off, this specific 1960 sunburst model gained its name from the John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers' Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton album, as Clapton can be found reading a 'Beano' comic, giving rise to the name 'The Beano Album' and therefore The 'Beano' Les Paul. Considering the amazing tone achieved by Clapton on this album it's certainly strange that he defected to a Stratocaster for a huge part of his long career.

So there are 5 superb Gibson Les Pauls. I'm not sure how I can conceivably leave out Jeff Beck's cracking oxblood model or Peter Green's 'Greeny'. I guess something had to give!

The author has been playing both electric and acoustic guitars for many years and enjoys playing many different styles of music. He is also a keen builder of guitars and highly recommends Tub Guitar Pickups for top quality replacement humbucker pickups and Les Paul pickups.

by Eduardo Munroe; Sunday, August 21, 2011 @ 09:30 AM [3389]

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