01-28-2011, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Thanked 74 Times in 19 Posts
Re: When is a guitar classed as vintage?
Originally Posted by captain tightpants
I would agree with that assesment, in that is how the term "Vintage" is applied to Les Pauls
However, I tend to think of even the less desirable Norlin Les Pauls as Vintage too, for this simple reason: Many of the players using Les Pauls in the '70's were using then-new Norlin Les Pauls. A lot of classic rock was recorded on those same Les Pauls that the "Only '52 to '60" crowd look down upon.
Those guitars are now older than the 'Bursts were when Norlins were new. LOTS of those player's Les Pauls are now the kind of guitars many of us would love to have.
Ace Frehley's tobacco Deluxe
Mick Jones' Black Custom
Mick Ronson's stripped Custom
Scott Gorham's Deluxe
Pete Townshend's fleet of Deluxe's.
Steve Jones' White Custom
...and so on. As great as the original '50's Les Pauls were, they aren't the same as the Norlin Les Pauls were. Norlin's have charecteristics no other Les Pauls from any other era have, and some of us are nuts for them.
For that reason, I think someday a "Norlin Vintage" market will crop up. I don't think it will ever reach the huge monetary figures the 52 to 60's will, but I'm betting it will be a lot healthier than people think.
I think a "Norlin Vintage" classification is a great idea. For those of us who lived through it, I remember it as a time of being PROFOUNDLY unhappy with the quality of Gibson at the time. THAT is what fueled the Vintage market. The fact that the Norlin era came at a time when there was TREMENDOUS demand for Gibson Les Pauls, and they were reluctant to produce what everyone wanted - the 58-60 Les Paul Sunburst - people 'settled' for what was available. I worked in a guitar store at the time and remember the quality as being EXCEPTIONALLY uneven, weighted toward the not-so-good. And then BANG - you'd get a stellar one. Go figure.
In any case, I have no fond memories of that era, having owned more than a couple of not-so-good-ones, and jumped for joy when Henry showed up and started making them closer to 'how they used to' with consistent good quality. A LOT closer. Still, they made advancements that purists took issue with and the Historic Series was born. This of course is the shortened story.
So, sure, I vote for the "Norlin Vintage" classification for Gibson. For lovers of that era, it's easy to spot. For those of us not so fond of that era, it's easy to spot and avoid.
Temptation is the root of all guitar collections...
"I can't stop keeping up with the Toneses." JakeIsLove, 2011