Very sad NGD - 65? Gibson L5

metalmike222

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My dad was a lifelong guitar player. When he was a very young man, he found himself becoming a father and didn't know what to do, or how to support a family at his age. He had been taking music and guitar lessons since he was a child, so he stuck with what he knew. He gave guitar lessons, and he started playing in bars and clubs at night. Not only was he able to support his new family AND finish high school, he went on to go to college and eventually earned his PhD in psychology. All of this was paid for, at least in some part, by his skills on guitar.
We lost my dad in July, and being a guitar player myself since my early teens, he always wanted me to have his guitars once his time was up. This week, my mom was finally ready to let them go and I brought them to their new home. One is a simple 2006 American Standard Strat that she and I conspired to get him for Christmas that year. He loved Buddy Holly and always wanted a Strat, but was far to frugal and practical to ever buy one for himself when he didn't NEED one to support his family. He didn't NEED one, because he had this:







My dad's beloved Gibson L5 Custom. He's the original owner, and it was ordered from the factory with Grover tuners and chrome/nickle hardware because he hated gold hardware. I'm not 100% on the year of this guitar. He always told me that he thought it was a 65, but it had been so long that his memory was fuzzy on it. It's player grade, but it's an absolutely gorgeous guitar with only minor nicks and no finish checking at all. I have years worth of memories of watching my dad play this guitar on holidays with the family. Now it's my turn to hang on to it and keep it safe for a while.
 

elephantrider

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that big body is something else. hate to hear how it was acquired, but good news is you'll take great care of it.
 

Michael Matyas

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Sounds like your dad was a classy guy. My deepest condolences on your loss.

My father was legally blinded in a work accident when I was six months old, and he missed out on a lot while his kids were growing up. He never threw a ball to his kids or drove a car, saw what was happening on tv or at the movies, just to name a few things. My oldest brother was like a surrogate father to us, taught us to play sports, drove us to our ball games, and so much more. He was taken from us in a fishing accident when he was only 33 years old. I have a dreadnought that he built mostly with hand tools, and whenever I hold it and play it I can feel the care and the love that he put into that guitar.

I know that some joyous day in the future you will see your dad again and I will be with my brother Joe. God bless you and your family.
 

ARandall

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Lovely guitar
It's player grade, but it's an absolutely gorgeous guitar with only minor nicks and no finish checking at all.
Player grade is where it is very worn in the paint from playing and/or highly damaged but still playable. Your second part of the sentence confirms it is anything but player grade....but in fact it is 'in very good condition'
 

Brek

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Sorry for your loss, it’s been cherished and cared for, it’s leagues above players grade, even though been played for years, it’s how I imagine any of mine will be in 20 or 30 years time.
 

metalmike222

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Sounds like your dad was a classy guy. My deepest condolences on your loss.

My father was legally blinded in a work accident when I was six months old, and he missed out on a lot while his kids were growing up. He never threw a ball to his kids or drove a car, saw what was happening on tv or at the movies, just to name a few things. My oldest brother was like a surrogate father to us, taught us to play sports, drove us to our ball games, and so much more. He was taken from us in a fishing accident when he was only 33 years old. I have a dreadnought that he built mostly with hand tools, and whenever I hold it and play it I can feel the care and the love that he put into that guitar.

I know that some joyous day in the future you will see your dad again and I will be with my brother Joe. God bless you and your family.
Thank you for sharing your story as well. Definitely got me a little misty eyed.
 

metalmike222

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Is there a good and reliable way to date a mid-60's Gibson? He felt like it was a 65, but it may be between 63 and 66.
 
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smk506

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Very sorry for your loss Mike, condolences.

If you know how to play some of the songs your dad knew, play one on it every now and again and think of him, I think that would be a nice way to connect with him.
 

Les Paul Advocate

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That is a fantastic guitar. There is not much else in the world that is more special than memories of music shared with family and friends which become memories for them and others for the rest of their lives. It must be incredible to have that guitar and connect to those memories. Enjoy and cherish it.
 

Knoby

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As others have said , Calling this guitar "player grade" is a MAJOR understatement.

It looks VERY VERY clean, at least from the pics.

As for dating. If the serial is not reliable, then the pots might have date codes on them which can help date it. But they could be a pain to take out, and you might risk damaging the guitar if you are not careful.
 

MSB

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i've come back a few times to oogle the pics... that thing is awesome, great, though sad, story. Keep on playing it and keep his memory alive
 

Pop1655

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Every time I see this, I have to admit I twitch a little at the title. It's very sad you lost your father. Condolences. Just said happy birthday to mine for the 30th time without him here. Two things stand out in your story. Sounds like he was an incredibly cool guy. You were blessed. As far as this thread, I think it's probably the "greatest NGD ever" in the history of MLP. I can't imagine the vibe of grabbing your dad's guitar today and 30 years from now. That is some cool stuff. Not only did he leave you "a guitar" full of vibe, it's a frickin Cadillac. What a gorgeous piece.
Yep, I'm going with "greatest NGD ever".
 

monstruo_loco

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Great guitar, great story.

Sorry for your loss, and being able to remember your father every time you pick up the guitar & play it is priceless.

Hopefully someone will be able to help with giving you an accurate date based on the serial number.
 

metalmike222

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According to this Reverb page, it looks like it may actually be a 66, not a 65.


As others have said , Calling this guitar "player grade" is a MAJOR understatement.

It looks VERY VERY clean, at least from the pics.
When I originally called it player grade, I guess that's just me showing how little I know about grading the condition of vintage guitars. No worries. I've always thought it was absolutely gorgeous, so I'm happy to hear others agree. I tried to take some pictures of a couple of small dings in the top near the bridge, but they're kind of difficult to pickup on camera.



There are also a couple of finish cracks at the neck joint, which I've been told is pretty common for a vintage hollow body. Tuning is and always has been extremely stable, so I'm not currently worried about the cracks in the finish. And with these pics blown up on my computer screen, I can actually see so very light finish checking on the neck heel in the bottom pic. Can't see it at all with the naked eye, but the camera doesn't lie.





And finally, I just wanted to add a close up of the headstock because it just looks so great. It's dusty, but it just looks great.

 
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WILDBILL59

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I am sorry for your loss !

WOW,The L5 CUSTOM, is a BAD-A$$ Axe ! Your Dad did not need the Strat for sure and with the L5 around, I bet the Strat did not get much playing time, eh? !The Guitar looks well taken care of and if I were you I would NEVER take that out of my house. A 1965 L5 Custom, OMG, it is just....u kno.

N E Way, it looks like you got a new #1, so Congratulations......Play the $#!T out of the BAD-A$$ !
 

moreles

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Gee, that's a good one. Your dad's taste is impeccable. Grovers are the best, IMO, and nickel throughout is a great move. I'm sorry about your dad, but life goes on and your connection remains with the guitar as a reminder. Beautiful, no less.
 


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