Much love and respect to Walt Carter., The Unofficial Historian of the Gibson Company.
Between Walt Carter, Eric Ernest, and Mike Slub, Gil Hembree, A R. Duchossoir,
Yasuhiko Iwande, you get about as complete a picture of the Les Paul guitar as you can.
Chicago Music Exchange, Norlin, Henry Juszkiewicz were forward thinkers.
They cared much more for where Gibson was going, and very little for where Gibson had been.
The 1958-1960 Les Pauls, as well as the Explorer's, V's, 335's and others have been collectable for a long time and it seems to me that if those ledgers haven't shown up anywhere by now, I would think that they probably got destroyed during the move or are in the hands of someone who doesn't know what they have.
As I understand it, only the one ledger book from mid 58 - late 60 is missing. The most VALUABLE one that has the burst ser # info and the stores that bought them. I dont think more then that one are missing but I could be way off on that assumption. Are other ledger books missing?? Dont they still have all the other books??
That is why I think the one book was stolen. And not just misplaced during the move. Why didn't ALL the books go missing? I hate to suggest it but I am thinking a employee at Gibson stole it because they had access to it BEFORE they got packed up for shipment to Nashville. I hope they realize the mistake they have made and just return it no questions asked for the reward. That is great Gibson is offering some big money for it's rightful return! Hope it works out for all.
Related but unrelated story--my wife bought a bunch of old ledger books a few years ago at a "junk store" in Nashville (were I live) and we have them on a bookshelf in our bedroom. I have looked through them and they seem to be from a hardware store or general store somewhere. No name or address is written on them and the owners were clearly just keeping a running ledger, from year to year. There is a page in the front to fill out name and address, which is blank on all of them. I have no clue who these belong to and actually I am not even totally sure what they were selling. My point in commenting here is that it is ENTIRELY possible someone could have that book and not even be aware what it is. Would be helpful if Gibson could post any info at all about what it may look like? Perhaps a photo of the one before and the one after? What does the cover look like? Does it even say Gibson inside (or did the one before and the one after)?
On another actually related note, I have several friends in the vintage guitar world in Nashville. All have told me the stories of "the time I bought a fake burst". It does happen, even to the guys who literally "wrote the book" on Vintage guitars.
that $59k is not even close to what someone would pay for that ledger......
check Norms warehouse.....or Nerdville.....
so you own a bunch of bursts...you realize 3 of them are fake....you unload them over time so not to be noticable ...but keep the ledger as now you cannot let it out into the public as the 3 fakes you sold will come back to haunt you in more ways than one...
then you become a paid authenticator....hmmmm
put out a reward for information if found of $500k....and watch some bungholes pucker
i should have been a tv screenwriter....gotta be better than 90% of the trash on primetime now.... .
Does anybody know the date the ledger went missing?
i suspect the mid seventy"s when the move took place.
That is before the value of the bursts when crazy.
Would have had to be a very forward thinking thief to intentionally steal it for profit .
Most likely misplaced and lost. Much more likely to never be found in this scenario than if stolen.
If stolen more likely someone or their descendants will eventually profit on the return .
if fake ledgers come up for reward it will be very easy to discredit these.
Book would likely have to match, print would have to match, paper would have to match.
Probably easier to fake a burst than the ledgers.
all Known serial numbers would have to match.
Anyone with a legitimate 58-60 guitar could prove a fake ledger by cross referencing their serial number..