Nice thread northernguitarguy... I've been playing them that long but buggered if I'm anal enough to know a 57 catalogue from a 59. It's interesting that there is no mention of the LP standard in sunburst finish, which I know was in a Selmer catalogue around that time, because I collected the things. The standard was always considered the poor mans Custom and wasn't as sought after. Of course, what happened was that the Strat turned up on UK shores at the turn of the 60's, as you couldn't buy one over here before then because there was an embargo on US goods during the 50's. By the time Les Pauls and Strats first started filtering in, it was the Strat that everybody coveted ( Mainly because of 'The Shadows' ) and certainly not the Les Paul. It was the end of the 50's and the dawning of the space age and wow! didn't Strat's just fit the bill. Retro colours, slim fast action necks. The day of the old chunkers was over. Many Les Pauls had necks like baseball bats and people just didn't like them, including me.. Yeah. the custom had a slimmer neck and so did the standard by 1960, but it was too late.. The die was cast.... And die they certainly did.. ( Excuse the pun ). It makes me chuckle when I hear youngsters saying to me " Yeah but the Les Paul is much ballsier, why didn't you have one ?" Well, in fact that's exactly what you didn't want back then.. A thick muddy sound with distortion, simply because of the styles of music.. That was to come half a decade later. You wanted clean.. And boy did Fender give you clean. With re your question, were thre P/U customs they hard to play? I wouldn't say they were hard to play with regard action etc, but there was just too many pickups on the thing. You couldn't get your fingers in there and it was just too.. Well let's say.. Too cluttered! You couldn't give away a Les Paul back then and it wasn't till the mid 60's when bigger 100 watt amps came in and bands started to play.. LOUD!..that the Les Paul made a resurection courtesy of Bloomfield, Clapton etc. Then one day a guy called Hendrix appeared on the scene and virtually over night... All back to Strats..The Les Paul once more sinking in to virtual obscurity until a guy with a top hat and leather trousers once again gave the Les Paul another comeback. It's all about trends.. If the guitar Gods are using that guitar, all the lemmings follow suite.. Then it's all change for the next act. Luckily I was never into trends and the only guitars I owned in the 60's were Strats, 335's, Gretches and Teles. As my wife said once to her friend about me. 'Phil will never go out of fashion for the simple reason he's never been in fashion'.