Tell Your First Experience/Exposure to a Les Paul Guitar

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by scozz, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. rockstar232007

    rockstar232007 Senior Member

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    1987. 5 years old. My uncle's 1974 LP DeLuxe.

    One of the best LPs I've ever played. A complete boat-anchor, at just over 11lbs. I really wish he still had it, but like many others, he sold it in the early '90s for beer money.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  2. jc2000

    jc2000 Senior Member

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    That is beautiful!!! I have a 79 GS37SB I just love the sound.
     
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  3. jc2000

    jc2000 Senior Member

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    Sorry, I got off topic. For me it was Jimmy page in the 70's. Unfortunately I never bought one and because I sucked at guitar. It wasn't till I was in my late 40's when my wife bought me one for our 25th wedding anniversary. It was all Id hoped it would be....
     
  4. wildstage98

    wildstage98 Senior Member

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    first time I encountered one was playing one in a music store, after about 8 years of playing. I honestly didn't like it, I couldn't get into it. but over the years I kept trying them out, I found that I really liked the ebony custom with gold pickups, but when the time came another 8-9 years later, I fell for an inverness green traditional and the ebony was the furthest thing from my mind.
     
  5. DarrellV

    DarrellV Derl Ver.... ERMAHGERD! I'm a sercarstic BOT! Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    I was a late bloomer. Took me till 80 or 81 to find All the World's a Stage and be blown away by the incredible sounds and textures Alex coaxed out of that beast...
    Being live and not in the studio pulling of BATSD was it for me.

    I saw the tobacco burst on the back cover (only just found out the name from here).

    But I didn't know what it was (or Geddy's bass for that matter. LOL! I thought he modded it and put that big old hole under the pickup. Didn't know that's how they were built!)

    I started out with cheap Hondo's and built my own parts-casters and stuff. Never could afford anything good and I couldn't play yet anyway.

    Went into the Army in 81 and brought my Hondo caster with me. While I was there some guys that knew how to actually play picked it up and made sounds on that thing I never knew existed. He showed me barre chords that gave me the foundation to help me 'fake it till I can make it' for years!

    In the Army I was stationed in Ft Lewis Washington and used to go to downtown Olympia for something to do on weekends. Found a music store there and decided to look around for kicks.

    The place was loaded with guitars on wall hangers of all colors and types, but one stuck out from among the darker colors behind the counter. This one!
    The pictures don't do it justice because it has aged for 34 years, but when it was new it lit up like a fire engine behind those other guitars!

    This is where it gets goofy. As I stood there looking at it, stunned really, I had to fight up the courage to ask the clerk if I could see it closer. He asked if I wanted to hold it and I remember blurting out 'Can I?!' in complete surprise..

    I thought surely something this beautiful had to very expensive and out of the touch of mere strangers who walked in off the street. Surely they didn't just trust anybody with these things. (This was before Guitar Center, LOL!)

    But he put it in my hands and it was heavy, and sparkly, and beautiful like nothing I had ever seen before. I had the complete 'I'm not worthy' experience right there on the spot!

    I had no money or talent, as proved by my meager attempt to play the opening of 'Limelight' by Rush... The clerk quipped that I was doin' it wrong. I knew that! Dang! I felt my cheeks burn in embarrassment. So I gave it back to him.

    When I saw the price tag I knew there was no way I could afford it! It said Standard on the TRC, but it cost as much as the Customs in the place! I asked them why that should be? They couldn't find an answer for me..

    I put $300 down on it and put it on layaway... I used to visit it on weekends and I can still here the murmurings of awe from the other folks in the store as I opened that chainsaw case and they caught a glimpse of it in the case. I was both embarrassed for the attention and extremely proud that it was mine! Well, almost.

    Left the Army a year or so later without it... Only a Polaroid of it in the store that I've long since lost. Just a memory for 34 years every time a flashy red car or motorcycle went by I would say to whoever was next to me 'Yup! That's what she looked like'.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Pappy58

    Pappy58 Senior Member

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    ~1974 Giant Music Falls Church Va. 16 yrs old and at the time I owned a 67 SG special...But I was a big Joe Walsh fan and just getting into the ABB, and the Les Paul's in that store were talking to me. There was a Cherry Burst deluxe that I loved, but couldn't swing it. A friend of a friend bought it, but about a year later I persuaded him to swap it to me for the SG and some contraband of some sort. :420: Anyway I keep the Deluxe until about 1984 when I got into a bluegrass phase and traded it on a DR-35. :420: Certainly wish I had had both guitars now but really wish I had kept that SG. I do have a 75 Deluxe that was purchased more recently just for the nostalgia of it. :cheers2:
     
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  7. NINFNM

    NINFNM Member

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    First time I saw a les paul was while watching '92 tokyo's civil war performance on the MTV:

    [​IMG]

    Years later I got the real one, a 92 standard, the one from my avatar btw.
    This is a pic from that very first day I got it:

    [​IMG]

    My forever guitar. Very light and incredible sounding, and beat to hell.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  8. Cygnus X-1

    Cygnus X-1 Senior Member

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    Slash. And that's all I have to say about that.

    except this- funny story. In high school one of the guitarists in the jazz band had a lefty LP in Tobacco Sunburst that I loved. He let me play it for a school concert. I was THRILLED. I offered him my little brother as collateral if I dropped it.
     
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  9. cherrysunburst00

    cherrysunburst00 Senior Member

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    My Brother got into Rush around the "All the World" era when Rush opened for Ted Nugent.

    So, I gots to know, is your present Lester the one in your story? :Ohno:
     
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  10. jc2000

    jc2000 Senior Member

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    I have the same issue with a Strat. I keep playing them in the stores, Ive always wanted one but just can not connect for some reason. I hope some day I can pick one up that moves me.
     
  11. garybaldy

    garybaldy Senior Member

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    Got my 1st guitar (electric) in 1966. I don't recall an encounter with a Les Paul in the flesh until 1975 or 6 when we, as students, would go to the regular local rock gig fridays and saturdays. The guitarist had a 3 pup black beauty going thru a Traynor 2x12 combo.
    In the hope of achieving that sound I replaced my Harmony Meteor for a 'budget' Gibson L6S and my AC30 for a Traynor combo. Needless to say it was nowhere near the sound I was looking for.
    After moving in the fender direction for some years and then using a handbuilt LP Special DC copy, I found myself buying three Fenix LP copies.
    In 2010 I finally came to my senses (?) and got my 2004 Gibson LPS in .......Gecko Burst! After all those years, I have never felt the need to get that sound I wanted in the 70s.
    I love it but don't really use it that much.
    My SGJ does all I currently require.
     
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  12. WineRedFreak

    WineRedFreak Member

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    '
    Before finally choosing my #1 acoustic, a 2007 Guild D-40 "Bluegrass Jubilee", I had gone through Gibsons, Martins and Taylors but, for me, none of them nailed it like the Guild.

    IMG_4027.JPG
    IMG_4028.JPG

    Mine came from the Tacoma Washington facility and, judging by my D-40, I'd have to say their quality hadn't suffered in the move(s), although I can't speak for the current Cordoba company's product except that they no longer seem to offer the Adirondack Red Spruce that mine has, something that makes it sound so sweet imo...


    '
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  13. Mr Insane

    Mr Insane Senior Member

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    My first memory of a guitar was age 4, my dad had a red Strat copy. A few years later, he bought a Custom Shop Strat. My first guitar was a Peavey Firenza, it has the strat-style double cutaway. Half a year of playing, I was starting to get discouraged. I wanted to play rock, but it just wasn't coming out. PBS aired the first Eric Clapton crossroads festival, it breathed new inspiration into me. Clapton became my hero, he played a strat. I thought I was a die-hard Strat person.

    Christmas time, my brother-in-law brought out his early '90s Gibson LP Standard. First thing that I noticed was 4 knobs and the toggle switch. I thought those were "too complicated." And the body shape...I thought it was hopelessly outdated. I picked it up "this thing is heavy!" My impression of the Les Paul wasn't good.




    Soon after that, I started going to my first concerts, hard rock concerts. I began to notice that all the bands I really liked...their guitar player usually had a LP. So I began to research them...after a little bit I started lusting after them and had to have one.
     
  14. brianbzed

    brianbzed Senior Member

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    Saw Jimmy Page and Peter Frampton on tv sometime in 74-75. Asked my friend who played acoustic guitar, what is THAT guitar? He says, it's called a Les Paul. I found out later that Les Paul was an actual guy and inventer extraordinaire. I had to have one. I had a shitty Memphis copy first. It took a few years and a full time job before I bought my first Lester. Been collecting and playing them eversince.
     
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  15. The Birdman

    The Birdman Senior Member

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    When I read music magazines in high school, I saw that "Gibson Les Paul" was a type of guitar that was commonly used, but I had no one that could point to a picture and tell me that was what it looked like. I learned to play on a Silvertone amp-in-case single pickup electric, still with no idea of what a Les Paul was.

    Fast forward to 2003, when I took up guitar playing again, after a nearly 30 year break. I bought an Epiphone Casino to get back into playing, because it looked like guitars I remembered seeing years before. But soon after, in a used guitar shop, I ran across a used Epiphone Les Paul Standard, and I realized why Les Pauls were popular, with how nicely it handled, and how good it sounded.

    No Epis here now, just Gibsons...... :)
     
  16. cvaughn927

    cvaughn927 Junior Member

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    Dave Meniketti of Y&T - monster player. I'd been playing for a few years but mostly on the Fender side of the house. Put a new 1989 Ebony LP Standard in layaway for $875 and chipped away at it for three months or so working a part time job before I was able to take it home. Stupidly sold it in 2001 to buy a mountain bike of all things . It was the only thing other than a house that I've owned that appreciated in value. Got back in the LP fold a couple of years ago - I've had a couple and let one go but plan to keep one from now on. If only I could go back to 2001 and smack myself upside the head....
     
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  17. truckermde

    truckermde Senior Member

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    I've told this story before, so apologies for being redundant...

    My upstairs neighbor in the 70s was an old guy with a '57 goldtop.

    First electric I ever played. That thing was badass! Also, 50s lesters were regular guitars anyone might have back then, so he wasn't afraid to let a grade-school kid play it.

    Kool dude. Thanks Mr. Hamilton!
     
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  18. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    Man this thread has some really great stories!

    It's really fun reading how we all have different but similar, (to some degree), first experiences with Les Pauls! I'm really enjoying reading them all. Especially the ones with some misconceptions or misinformation we've had about LPs in our learning experiences.

    Keep em coming!!
     
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  19. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    Hey @DarrellV ....looks like you didn't really finish your story. When, how, where did you finally get that gorgeous 82 CAR Standard?
     
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  20. RayTorvalds

    RayTorvalds Senior Member

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    The first time I saw a Les Paul (or it could've been a single-cut ESP) was when I was 12 or 13, which was '89/'90. I saw Kirk Hammett playing one
    in a picture in a magazine or it could've been Headbanger's Ball on MTV. Either or (hey, I'm old..my memory isn't what it used to be).
    I thought it looked horrible, not metal at all (I was into metal only back then).
    A couple of decades later, I think a Les Paul is one of the most beautiful guitars in the world. For a lot of reasons.
     
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