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'59 Les Paul - why considered by many as the best?

gear007

Member
Messages
504
After spending the last 20 years playing acoustic guitar, I can honestly say I'm pretty new to electrics. Never really considered playing them much...until recently. I've studied acoustics pretty intensely and understand the whole "pre-war" thing quite well. But when it comes to electrics, nada. Almost every piece of literature I stumble across regarding Gibson Les Pauls seems to use the '59 ( the real 1959 not reissues) as the measuring stick for true greatness. My question is simple, Why?
 

Sean French

Member
Messages
14,173
Mike Bloomfield,Peter Green,Keith Richards,Eric Clapton,Jimmy Page,Joe Walsh,Duane Allman,Billy Gibbons etc....
Actually the Les Paul was not a success and discontinued after 1960.
Then the blues/rock guys started playing them,the 59's,as they had jumbo frets starting that year.
Kieth had a '59 on tour with the Stones in '64 and soon many of our heros followed.
 
Messages
12,054
After spending the last 20 years playing acoustic guitar, I can honestly say I'm pretty new to electrics. Never really considered playing them much...until recently. I've studied acoustics pretty intensely and understand the whole "pre-war" thing quite well. But when it comes to electrics, nada. Almost every piece of literature I stumble across regarding Gibson Les Pauls seems to use the '59 ( the real 1959 not reissues) as the measuring stick for true greatness. My question is simple, Why?

British rock musicians used them initially,then american rock musicians.The ICON in rock music from the 60's to the 70's.The arguably,most famous electric guitar in Rock n' Roll.It IS greatness when you hear one of the nicely maintained ones.We have a few members who are significantly more knowledgable about them than I am.The 'golden era was 1957-1960.
 

shane8

Member
Messages
31,458
Mike Bloomfield,Peter Green,Keith Richards,Eric Clapton,Jimmy Page,Joe Walsh,Duane Allman,Billy Gibbons etc....
Actually the Les Paul was not a success and discontinued after 1960.
Then the blues/rock guys started playing them,the 59's,as they had jumbo frets starting that year.
Kieth had a '59 on tour with the Stones in '64 and soon many of our heros followed.
in those days if u wanted that sound there was no alternative and now there is

obviously the 59 LP is the most over rated guitar in the world and their cost has nothing to do with their worth but they are rare and have all those 60s and 70s rock god associations
 

clint

Member
Messages
1,626
I don't know about that. Strats and Teles hold their own as far as electric guitars go but there's something alluring about a flametop LP that is as much about the aesthetics as the tone. And very few were made in those 2-3 years.
 

Luke

Senior Member
Messages
11,895
Having played four real 1959 Les Pauls, I will say I can not figure out the thrill. They were nice, but not $250,000 worth. At $5,000 MAYBE I'd consider it.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,360
Just hang around estate sales for a few decades and you can come across some amazing
closet classics.

I'm sure the first time someone paid $5000.00 for a '59 LP they must have
thought that person was out of their ever lovin' mind.

I'd sure like check one out some day, but
I'm really totally happy with my 85 Studio Standard
 




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