LES PAUL GIBSON “BLACK BEAUTY” GUITAR SELLS FOR $335K
A 1954 Les Paul Gibson guitar known as “Black Beauty” has sold at auction for $335,500.
Guernsey’s auction house says the six-string instrument with gold-plated hardware set the standard for other Les Paul Gibson guitars.
Paul was a jazz, country and blues guitarist. He made frequent modifications to his basic guitar over the years, refining the sound.
Paul, whose hit songs include How High the Moon, played his instruments in concerts, recordings and on the Les Paul and Mary Ford television show. He died in 2009.
There was no pre-sale estimate for the “Black Beauty” guitar, and Guernsey’s could not provide the name of the buyer.
The auction record for a guitar belongs to the Fender Stratocaster that Bob Dylan played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. It sold for $965,000 in 2013.
Paul collaborated on his original design with Gibson after the guitar maker approached him about making an electric guitar bearing his name.
The auctioneer calls it the most significant electric guitar ever made.
Years ago, Paul gave the instrument to his friend, guitar technician and builder Tom Doyle of Wantage, New Jersey.
Guernsey’s president, Arlan Ettinger, said the Les Paul guitar is considered a “Holy Grail” among musicians because it gave birth to thousands of instruments that bear his name.
[Ed’s note: I thought this news story would be of some interest, since a lot of hard rock guitarists play Les Pauls. Of course one of my favorites, John Sykes, has played a 1978 model Gibson Les Paul Custom for decades, and in 2006, Gibson released a “John Sykes” model signature Les Paul, based upon this guitar.]
source: The Associated Press via Page Six of the New York Post
One last thing on “collectable” guitars I’ll mention is when it comes to all those pointy, ninja weapon looking axes of the 1980’s, most of them just haven’t appreciated like the classic guitars, such as old Gibsons and old pre-CBS Fenders. In the last several years, some incredible guitars have come along. I have a Peavy HP Special CT, which is now out of production, that is the best guitar I’ve ever played. Out of all six guitars I own, which includes two acoustics, the Peavy is the only one I play every day. I had an original PRS Mira that was also a great guitar but I sold it. Now, those guitars aren’t produced any more. They have been slightly redesigned and are now called the PRS Mira S2 and, even though I haven’t played one of the new ones, I’ve heard and read that they are not as good as the original ones. Only time will tell if the “modern classic” guitars will be as valuable as the established vintage classics. The same goes for amps.
Thanks for the clarification on Nugent’s guitar of choice, guys.