So you have a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket? And you’re finally ready to break the bank on a high end electric guitar? After careful consideration and looking at a number of guitar models in the higher end range from a variety of quality companies, I am going to recommend and describe an American classic for your next big purchase, the Gibson Les Paul Classic with the Cherry Sunburst finish.
Any piece on the Les Paul electric solid body guitar would be remiss in not describing the mad and lovable inventor at the heart and soul of this guitars amazing legacy in popular music over the last seventy five years or so. Born Lester William Polsfuss in 1915, Les Paul was simply put a renaissance man. He was a master musician in many styles and held down a trio gig at one of New York’s venerable jazz joints Iridium until his death in 2009.
I could use this entire article to talk about Les, but suffice to say the world of popular music would not be what it is without his contributions in guitar making, multi-track recording and show business. If you don’t know already, do your homework and learn about Les and listen to his music. He is truly an American master and a one of a kind genius whose likes we may never see again.
The Les Paul classic then, the current result of the early guitar the late, great Mr. Paul developed in 1940 while working in the Epiphone factory is a powerhouse of an instrument that simply looks like it’s ready to explode with sound. Fans of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page will recognize this model closely associated with him, as he used the Les Paul Cherry Sunburst on many occasions and it was featured prominently in Zeppelins concert film “The Song Remains The Same”.
The model featured now on Amazon is made of a variety of top guitar woods including a Mahogany body, Maple top, and a Rosewood finger board. The G Force automated tuners combined with the tune-o-matic bridge will help you stay in tune when you scream and wail and bend your strings way, way up on the high frets.
The 57 Classic pick-ups will help you get that big, thick, warm and fuzzy instantly identifiable vintage Gibson growl. If you don’t love the Cherry, you can get the guitar in three other colors, either a Fire Burst, Vintage Sunburst or for you jazz cats, a Sea Foam Green. Other features of this top shelf instrument include a wider neck and fretboard for increased sustain and aesthetically pleasing pearl inlays.
This Les Paul Classic also ships with a Gibson hard shell case, which is a great value. If you’re getting this guitar you’re most likely playing, recording or performing with others or are going to be, and a hard case is the way to go to protect this big and well chosen investment.
When you buy certain guitars, in my opinion Taylor, Fender, Martin and Gibson, you’re not just buying that particular guitar. You’re buying a legacy, a tradition and a piece of history. You’re buying a membership into a rarified club of elite players, and in the case of the Les Paul Classic, that club is one you want to be in.
How about chairmen of the Rock and Roll board like the aforementioned Jimmy Page, Guns N’ Roses Slash, hard rock visionary Randy Rhoads, Derek and the Dominoes partners Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, Joe Perry from Aerosmith and the Who’s Pete Townshend? How about blues men like Gary Moore, Peter Green and the great bearded one, Billy Gibbons? You’ll be in fine company when you sling a Les Paul around your neck.
Another really neat feature, if you are able, is the Gibson Factory Tour in Memphis, Tennessee. For ten dollars you can take a complete guided tour of the working factory where the Les Paul and all the wonderful Gibson guitars are bound, fit, painted, buffed and tuned by some of the worlds finest craftsmen and luthiers.
So, truth be told, I speak from personal experience. I own a Les Paul custom, a guitar that I cherish for many reasons. I won it by pure luck after entering a contest on one of my guitar heroes Pat Martino’s website years ago, as Blue Note was giving away one of the guitars Gibson made in his honor. I never knew all those years ago why a guitar would or could be worth so much more than the five or six hundred I had paid for guitars up to that point. When I got my Gibson Les Paul Custom, I knew in about five minutes. Just to make sure I recorded it and upon playback I was convinced. Good luck and welcome to the Gibson club!