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Les Paul's Les Paul auctioned for $930,000

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I don't know what I would have guessed it would go for, but probably nowhere close to a million. Maybe half that.

Christie's says they were expecting $150,000 but that seems too low.

Not much news yet beyond this item from Guitar World magazine.

I wonder if this means everybody's Les Paul just gained value. 





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30 minutes ago, Lizbeth4 said:

Wow!  I would be scared to own something so expensive!

There is a shadowy collector somewhere on the east coast who is said to have a number of rare Pauls in his collection, including the one stolen from Eric Clapton in the mid 1960s. I imagine him living like a South American drug lord under the watchful guard of machine-gun wielding henchmen. My guess is he is the new owner but I don't know.

But yeah, I would not keep this in the closet. 

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Lest anyone get the wrong idea, the Les Paul signature guitar in question was not designed by Les Paul, though he was a pioneer, along with Adolph Rickenbacker, Fred Gretsch, Paul Bigsby, and Leo Fender, in the development of the solid body electric guitar. The Les Paul model we know was designed by engineers at Gibson, under the leadership of Ted McCarty, who was losing business to Leo Fender after his success with the Telecaster. Les was a big name at the time and it was hoped his endorsement would bring buyers back to Gibson. It didn't. Gibson of course survived but the Les Paul, after several revisions, was discontinued in 1960. Eric Clapton is often credited with reviving interest in the model after he recorded with one as a member of John Mayall's Blues Breakers.

Les did tinker, years before, in the old Epiphone factory in New York City with what he called "the log guitar" which was essentially a slab of pine with a pickup (or magnet) attached to it to amplify the vibrations of the steel strings, which would allow him to be heard over a full orchestra. Audiences found the appearance distracting so he added "wings" to the solid board to make it look like a  traditional guitar. 

His design, or idea, is still used today, referred to as a semi-hollow. Too bad he did not patent it. 



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I'm not sure this is the same guitar that was just sold, but it has the top-side output jack, even if Les hasn't yet cut into the body. This is also a good look at Les and Mary's routine where he plays the foil to her, a la Sonny and Cher.


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