How'd you save enough money for your first Gibson?


It's 1969.
I'm 16.
I want my first good guitar.
I work all summer bagging groceries making minimum wage ($1.65 per hour).
My girlfriend tells me she'll make my lunch every day.
My dad told me he'll pay for the case; tax and drive me to Sam Ash for the guitar.

My day comes.
I'm jazzed.
Dad is happy his 16 year old son worked his summer vacation for his guitar.
I married my girlfriend 5 years later.
It was $250.00 in 1969.
I still have it.:):)

:aok well done sir, on so many levels.


I talked my mom into buying me a used 67 SG Special for around $250. I wanted a LP and humbuckers, but this was close enough at age 16 or so.

When I started playing, all I wanted was either a Ric or a Gretsch, because that's what the Beatles had. At age 12, I actually had a Ric 330/12. After a few years, and other bands started showing up on the radar, I wanted a Gibson. Even George had a couple he was pictured with by then.

I have four Gibbys. A LP Standard, a 61RI SG, a MF LP Jr, and an 81 ES347. I am still more of a Fender guy (and have seven of them), but I'll be keeping my Gibsons as well.


$800 off during last years clearance and American Musical Supplies' 12 payment plan lol. I could never have afforded a Gibson Les Paul Traditional otherwise.


My first one, a used 91 LP Goldtop/Goldback deluxe, I can't remember. Probably had a summer job living at home. My 2014 LP Traditional, 3 yrs. no interest from Sweetwater. Free money!


I saved $1300 for my first SG when I was in high school. Mowed lawns for 3 years before I could afford it and my parents kicked in the last $200 or so for Christmas. '01 standard, still have it and love it today.

I bought my first Les Paul in my second year of my PhD. Didn't get payed a huge stipend, but more than enough for a single guy to live comfortably and buy a few nice pieces of gear. I ended up selling it in my 4th year of my PhD bc school got way more intense and I stopped gigging. Also tore my shoulder that year and found out quickly that les Paul's ain't comfortable to play sitting down.
worked at a lawn and garden shop during the Day...checking ph levels of pool samples brought in, cleaning out bird cages, painting the garden gnomes...delivered pizzas in the evening....24 years ago...still have my first Gibson


:aok well done sir, on so many levels.
Thank you.

Just to show how little I knew about the early vintage market.............
I was offered an SG Les Paul Standard for $200.00.
I turned it down because a new SG Standard was $220.00.



A number of years ago I went to a casino to listen to a friends band. I'm not gambler, but during the first break I put a dollar in a Wheel of Fortune slot machine and won $2,000. Seriously. After buying drinks for friends and giving some cash to my wife, I bought a new Les Paul Studio. The guitar is long gone, but the cash would have been gone even sooner.


First Gibson was an ebony 1992 LP Standard I bought new in '92. I was 23 had an okay job as a restaurant mgr at the time. Just saved up the cash. I'll never forget how excited I was to bring it home. Like a dummy I set it in the back seat of the car and opened the case so I could look back at it at each stoplight.

I wish I still had that guitar.

Crimson Queen

Silver Supporting Member
Birthday gift at 15. It was a The Paul Standard (walnut). I also got an orange Roland Cube 60. I remember the guitar costing about $650.
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arthur rotfeld

Silver Supporting Member
Clearing seaweed off a beach and dragging lounge chairs around for a country club.

It helped that it was 1985 and the LP cost $450. The guitar was sitting around the shop for a while judging by the serial number.
I still use it a lot and recently had it refretted for the 2nd time. It's a bit dark sounding, but a really great guitar.


Platinum Supporting Member
Mowed lawns and swept floors at the local sign shop while in jr high. Bought an SG Special in '72 from a sign painter. Kept saving money (same job) and picked up a Les Paul Deluxe about a year later.
Interestingly, the $125 I paid for the used SG Special seemed like a deal in 1972. But if you calculate inflation over time, a $600 SG Classic from the mid 2000's is probably a better guitar and a better deal (unless your a romantic and are partial to old wood).


Worked nights at a Burger King after freshman year in college in '83. Unfortunately on the day I brought the thing home I could not play it, since I had sliced open and almost severed my finger while cleaning a piece of sheet metal that made up the broiler ...


I was working a pawn shop and I gave this guy a loan for his les paul for 300.

the guy never came back so I bought it from the shop well after his timeframe expired.


Silver Supporting Member
In 1979, my brother and I washed dishes for our Mom for a week after she paid $10 for a late 50's double cut Les Paul Jr and matching Les Paul Jr amp. We were 10 at the time and probably only ended up doing the dishes for a day or two.....I wish we still had it......I promise that you don't want to know what happened to it......

Dad love mom

Gold Supporting Member
I worked my read-end off in college, then worked my tail off in the workforce, put in copious hours of work, which all helped me earn a good wage. Affording a Gibson isn't too difficult.

That's how I did it. By the way, I went back to get my degree at the age of 26. Best decision I ever made. Scariest as well, since I quit a career as a manager of a restaurant.


Gold Supporting Member
1980. I was 17, a high school senior. I was taking lessons on my Sears guitar at a mom and pop shop in Wheaton, Illinois. I had a summer and weekend (during school months) job at a local nursing home. I was an orderly, which in this capacity meant that I tended to the waking needs of elderly male residents. I dressed, bathed, shaved, changed, and sometimes fed these gentlemen on a daily basis.

It was with money earned at this job that I bought my Les Paul Custom Silverburst. The mom and pop shop was a Gibson dealer, and they had this new Custom on sale. In 1980, a kid working a minimum wage job (and living with his parents) could save for a few months and afford a new Gibson (yeah, thanks for ending that, Henry!). It is still my number 1 guitar, and probably always will be. I've owned over 35 guitars, including many other Gibsons, over the years and most have come and gone. This Les Paul will be mine until I die.


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