Tell Your First Experience/Exposure to a Les Paul Guitar

TheZ

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The first time I really picked out a Les Paul from the mix was hearing Tom Scholz and his hyperspace pedal-fueled pyrotechnics on the first two Boston albums. After that it was virtuoso Steve Bartek playing unusual and complex rhythm and lead parts for Danny Elfman's new wave group Oingo Boingo. Totally different styles but here's the kicker - both played late 60's Goldtops... still gotta get me one of them someday.

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gnappi

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My first exposure was around 1968. My lead player got a brand new "Fretless Wonder" custom, and the sound over his strat was indescribably beautiful. My first that I owned was in the early 70's a pair of mid 50's LP Customs (I made my living selling gits) which I REALLY disliked, but... the bridge pups were sublime and I harvested the pups from them and replaced them with late 50's Junior pups. I STILL have those LP Custom pups and they've been in every P90 git I owned. They're noisy as hell but they wail!!!

Here's a scan from a Polaroid of one of them.
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samuk

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Not gonna lie - for me, it was all down to these guys. I was thirteen and everything about them totally inspired me!

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Kezia

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Seeing Ray Toro and Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance playing Les Pauls on some late night talk show, both at the time being prominent users of Epiphone Les Paul Elitist models

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Guitarhack

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My guitar teacher told me to go out and get this album by John Mayall. He told me to get the one with Eric Clapton reading the Beano Comic book on the cover. We went through that album from start to finish.

 

Metal Guru

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For some reason I've always wanted to own a Les Paul and not because of any particular guitarist that I admired.
Back in the day I couldn't find one to buy and picked up a '68 SG Special instead.
I wen camping one time and met this kid - a really fabulous player - who had a '58 Gold Top. That guitar was to die for.
 

marksoundguitars

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Am I supposed to tell my Les Paul about the first time I exposed myself? Or the first time I exposed myself to my Les Paul? Or the first time I exposed myself while playing a Les Paul?

I'm so confused. :lol:
 

Thumpalumpacus

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My guitar teacher told me to go out and get this album by John Mayall. He told me to get the one with Eric Clapton reading the Beano Comic book on the cover. We went through that album from start to finish.


One hell of a tutorial, there. I was blown away by it when I first heard it in 1987. I wish Clapton had kept that tone ... it's my favorite of his.
 

cherrysunburst00

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Back in high school, I was a Page freak. Started taking guitar lessons around '86 or 7 on a Fender Catalina acoustic. Thought it was cool because it had a Strat-style headstock. After a while, and playing friend's guitars, I decided I needed an electric. My dad, who was financing my lessons (and ponied up for the Fender) made me a deal where if I met certain goals laid out between us and my guitar teacher, he'd get me a used electric. I started practicing my ass off and started looking, in earnest, at electrics.

The shop where I took lessons carried a lot of different brands back then. They had Fender, Peavey, Ibanez and Gibson. Now it's mainly Fender. Anyways... one night I walked in and there she was. Hanging with the new LP's. I eventually played it and I HAD TO HAVE IT. A while later after I met my goals, I was presented with this:
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'85 LPC. Was about a year old. Only real wear was some buckle wear on the back. Still got it. First electric I owned, probably the first LP I played.
Lucky. I sold my first ('95 Standard). Didn't think anything of it, but now i miss it--just part of getting old, i guess
 

Side Burns

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My first esposure to a les Paul....

I can't say how but it's funny as far as I can remember I knew that Page and "all" the greats played les paul's but they were sooo expensive I didn't even dream of getting one as a kid.

Out of all of them the one les paul that was engrained in my head was the perry burst.
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My first les paul was actually a Burny Les Paul Custom that was a gift from my cousin. I was doing reserch on it and that led me here to the "Other Single Cuts corner and the reason I jointed MLP.

Now I have 4 les paul's (3 of them below)
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Nippon

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I was at Gary's having a BBQ.

Gary handed me a beef burger and said, hey mate, after you finish the burger, we'll go inside and I'll introduce you to Greeny.

Yeah, what a day.
 

jwehrman

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I was 12 when the 'November Rain' video came out. I was slowly starting to become a GN'R fan with the 'You Could Be Mine' video. I had never like Guns prior to that. I thought Slash was silly with his hat, and I didn't understand all the screaming. So I kicked it to Bryan Adams and Vanilla Ice for most of my pre-adolescence. I kicked so much a$$ back then (not really). Anyhow, I was blown away by the whole thing ( 'November Rain'): the video, the song, but mostly Slash's LP. I had no idea it was a real '59 that once belonged to Joe Perry. It was the coolest guitar I had ever seen. I had seen the Norlin LP from the other videos, but this was different. Nobody else, on MTV at least, had that sound at that time. The tone he had on the first and second solos was enough for me to start living and breathing guitar 8 hours a day 24/7.

When I saw his Goldtop, that was it. I HAD to have one. I was living in St. Louis at the time (great place to be a fan then). Suffice to say, there weren't too many Gibson dealers within driving distance. My guitar teacher told me about the infamous St. Charles Guitar Exchange. My first visit was around '93, and that would be the first time I ever touched a Les Paul. Considering it was '93, everything they had were pre-historics. The most reasonably priced was a 1960 Classic Reissue Goldtop for around $2k. However, they did not have any darkbacks. They only had the models finished in gold on the back AND the front - but I didn't care. After a year of getting good grades and patiently waiting, I got it at Christmas at the end of '94. I played that mofo every spare second I had for 11 years. I gave it so much TLC, it developed the green oxidization on the back of the neck.

After 11 years, I got into a Strat/Hendrix phase. I traded it for value ($700) on a standard American black Strat. But last year, I got REALLY nostalgic for LP's - largely inspired by the GN'R "reunion". I'm also a HUGE Stones fan; seeing all of the Exile tour videos/pics of Keith with his '58 really started making me crazy for getting one. I found the right one ('59 TH) and haven't looked back. Everything about a reissue LP feels like home in my hands.
 

grayd8

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It was about 2002, I had graduated college the year before and was in GC looking at a valvestate amp. Back then they had guitars just hanging above the amps.

The salesman asked if I wanted to plug in and try it out, I played strats at the time and the nearest strats I could see were on the other side of the store. I didn’t want to waste his time and looked up to find a Les Paul custom hanging overhead. I pulled it down and plugged in and started playing, during playing it I was enjoying the feel of the bound neck. I started playing the Hotel California solo at one point and fingered righ on the fret a few times and it still put out a decent note.

After 10 minutes, I tried to get both items on credit and didn’t get approved for either.
 

Nard

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This. My brother bought the single Jeepster, Life’s a Gas was the B side, but this was the first time I can remember seeing a Les Paul and wanting one

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The first Les Paul I ever played belonged to the lead player in my mate’s band. I never thought he’d let me near it never mind play it but he was really cool and just handed it to me and said give a go. It was a white custom and when I played that first chord it felt and sounded like heaven.
 

jaycoyoyo

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I caught the Les Paul fever in high school after watching Jimmy Page live in the Song Remains the Same. That burst! I was so fascinated at how he constantly worked the guitar's controls to affect his sound.

--Jay
 

AlvisX

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My last high school (of 3) was in Illinois ...some real Wayne's World sh*t
Circa1980-81
I got there for my senior year. I met this kid in school over a Frank Marino record . My family was from Mississippi, his from Alabama...so we started hangin out & played music together for a couple years
He had a late 70 3 pickup Custom ....a real boat anchor ,but we were youngsters ,so it was nothin. Before I met him,he was real into ACE ...so he had a Di Marzio Super D in the bridge .
I had a '79 Strat at the time . We used to play each other's guitars all the time . I really dug the Custom ,liked to play a lotta Aerosmith on it .
I knew I had to have a Les Paul SOON



I don't think it was til around '84 I got my 1st Les Paul ,a 71 Deluxe. My 21st birthday present to myself after tax return.......

Mike still has the 3 pickup Custom ....looks like he took the Super D out ;)

 

guitarfish

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I came late to this party. The Strat was my dream guitar, so it took about 8 years after I started playing to get an (Epi) LP. Eventually I got an LP Standard, which I've had for about 9 years now. It's a good think I have limited disposable income, because I'd probably have a bunch of them. I was able to later add a ES-335 with 57 Classics, which complements it nicely.

My early memories of LPs include Pete Townshend playing "Wont Be Fooled Again" with his arm-swinging, Mick Taylor teraing it up on some Stones records, Frampton, Page & Gibbons. Hall of fame stuff!
 

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