Kim Deals Goldtop

spartacus slim

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Kim’s goldtop is the guitar that first sparked my love of Les Pauls when I saw Joey Santiago using it during the early years of Pixies, so I’ve spent some time trying to figure out what it is.

Unless I’m mistaken, Kim’s guitar appears to be an early to mid ‘70s goldtop Deluxe with a mahogany neck, pancake body, thick binding in the cutaway, and harmonica bridge. It has been routed for humbuckers and the bridge pickup looks like an old ‘70s or ‘80s DiMarzio, probably a Super Distortion.

There is a mini-switch between the knobs which I guess must be for coil split or out of phase, though I’ve no idea if this is still functional.

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I read somewhere ages ago that the goldtop suffered some kind of neck/headstock break when Kim’s ex-husband John Murphy borrowed the guitar for a gig with his band Mente and it fell off a stand on stage. Looks like the guitar then either got a new headstock grafted on, or the neck was replaced entirely.

Original headstock:

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New headstock:

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Tuners look to be gold Schaller M6 these days.
 
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ErictheRed

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I had no idea that Joey had been using Kim's guitar all of those years, crazy. It must have been a special guitar for him to not just use his own!
 

PeteNJ75

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HUGE Pixies/Breeders/Frank Black fan here, and I've always been fascinated by that goldtop. I always thought it was Joey's though since he was the one who used it in the Pixies, so I learned something new today. Very curious what year though. I really dig the checking on the top.
 

spartacus slim

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Originally Joey had an Ovation Viper. When Pixies got together his first preference was to be a ‘Tele guy’ but Charles beat him to the punch with his white 2 humbucker MIJ Contemporary Telecaster, so Joey borrowed Kim’s Les Paul thinking it would be a good sonic compliment to Charles’ Tele.

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Around 1989 - ‘90 Kim took her goldtop back, so Joey got an all gold Classic to replace it. He also used a pair of Standards in white and black around this time.

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The Classic suffered a neck break on one of the early Pixies reunion tours and was retired from the road, replaced with what looks to be a Historic ‘57 goldtop. Joey also uses an ES-Les Paul goldtop, black 2 pickup Custom with Bigsby that appears to be a ‘57 reissue, and an original 1965 ES-345 that he’s had since the ‘90s. The black Custom seems to be his current favourite and gets the most use.

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PeteNJ75

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Originally Joey had an Ovation Viper. When Pixies got together his first preference was to be a ‘Tele guy’ but Charles beat him to the punch with his white 2 humbucker MIJ Contemporary Telecaster, so Joey borrowed Kim’s Les Paul thinking it would be a good sonic compliment to Charles’ Tele.

View attachment 503966

Around 1989 - ‘90 Kim took her goldtop back, so Joey got an all gold Classic to replace it. He also used a pair of Standards in white and black around this time.

View attachment 503958 View attachment 503959 View attachment 503960 View attachment 503961

The Classic suffered a neck break on one of the early Pixies reunion tours and was retired from the road, replaced with what looks to be a Historic ‘57 goldtop. Joey also uses an ES-Les Paul goldtop, black 2 pickup Custom with Bigsby that appears to be a ‘57 reissue, and an original 1965 ES-345 that he’s had since the ‘90s. The black Custom seems to be his current favourite and gets the most use.

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Wow, this is FANTASTIC information, thanks for sharing. I had a feeling there was at least one other goldtop in the mix, and I’m pretty sure I saw him use that ES-Les Paul at one of the reunion shows I saw. I really dig that 57 Custom too.
 

Lester

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Wait... she's using a pancake Deluxe Norlin era with a volute neck that's had repairs and was field-routed for humbuckers? It hits every checkmark for "don't go near this LP!".

How does she even play it? /s
 

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