Love the Gadsden flag on it.I bought my first Gibson Les Paul in 1992.
It was a 1986 black Standard.
Had “SECOND” stamped below the serial number on the headstock.
I’ve heard many stories and theories about why Gibson was doing this for a few years.
Including even marketing strategy.
I never found anything wrong with the guitar to warrant this less than ideal ranking.
Anyway, I bought it from a coworker who got it new. He wanted to be a rock ‘n’ roll star, and quickly became frustrated. It wound up in a closet.
I was just getting serious about playing.
I was more of a Strat guy.
Always liked the sounds out of a Les Paul, and I decided I wanted to do it myself.
I stripped the parts off the guitar, gave it a thorough cleaning, restrung it, and got it set up with the help of a couple of knowledgeable friends.
Once it was as good as it was going to get, I started exploring what sounds I can get out of it. That’s where the disappointment began.
The guitar was very different from everything else I had owned or played and I was having trouble getting used to the differences.
The volume and tone control layout is stupid.
(I maintain that to this day.)
Everyone kept telling me I needed to get a tube amp. I was never going to be happy trying to get Les Paul tones out of a little solid-state amp.
So I started looking at amplifiers.
I got sticker shock.
I remember at the time thinking that $600 was a stupid amount of money to pay for a good tube amp. That’s more than I paid for the guitar!
I found an eager buyer for the guitar, and let it go. I think I made a few bucks on it in the process, so I was happy to see it leave.
Fast forward a year or two, I found another black Les Paul.
Almost identical to the first.
A 93 standard.
The price was right so I grabbed it.
I wasn’t going to give up on finding the “right” Les Paul.
I had enough people telling me that it was very possible that I needed to find the “right” Les Paul. The one that I connected with.
Once that happened, I would be a believer.
It turns out, that guitar had bad pots in it. The bridge volume would never shut all the way off. Both tone pots were almost useless.
It had never been touched.
They were all original parts.
I kept it for a few years, rarely played it, and then a big blowout divorce at the end of the 90s had me selling off all kinds of stuff.
Including that Les Paul.
So every time I was at a gig, or met anyone who played Les Pauls, I always got the same testimonials. They loved their Les Pauls. They would never part with them. I was having trouble seeing the vision.
After the divorce, I got serious about guitars and amplifiers. Being a single man, I could spend my money wherever the hell I wanted!
I bought my first tube amp.
I rolled the dice on a Fender Hot Rod Deville.
That was it.
I bought a 2000 Les Paul Classic Sunburst with a killer top. I put a set of Burstbucker Pros in it.
Never looked back.
Those first guitars needed some work, but there was really nothing serious wrong with them.
It was true. A single-coil guitar is one thing, but a humbucker has to have tubes.
Since then, I have bought countless amplifiers and Les Pauls.
That second Les Paul, the 93 Standard, I bought back from a friend of mine after it suffered some abuse. It received some paint and graphics work, a control kit from RS, locking Grovers, and is now my avatar guitar.
I don't have tube amps, mostly play with emulators due to a "not want my neighbors to hate me" situation. But I love my Trad 2019.
Saving for a Slash Goldtop now.
Anyways, cool story and cool guitar.