Why I love my 1973 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe


Gold Supporting Member
Apr 11, 2014
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In 83, I got a very used and experienced LP Deluxe Cherry Burst that was from between 71 & 73. I had no way of knowing when it was bought and the serial number could only get me to those 3 years.

It had as much mileage as the only Hooker in a busy Navy seaport.

However, it also had late PAF's or early T-Tops (and a HACK router job) and let me tell you it played, felt and sounded better than everything I've tried since. (Not that many)

Stolen in 1988 in Centerport, NY by some dirt bag punk named.... I don't know if I am allowed to say his name here. How about: Mark B.

I miss it more than you can imagine. My friends would look at it and not expect much and after playing it, be quite complimentary.

Play yours and LOVE it up. I can't anymore.

I don't think I'd want any Les Paul over it, I someone gave me the choice.

She was MY little Ho. :naughty::D:naughty:


Senior Member
Jan 11, 2011
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i agree, there is something magical about my '81 gold burst. Although the 68 reissue custom I have is killer too, I chose this as its not weight relieved. So you can get newer ones that are made like they used too. But I think wood needs time to cure and age.


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Oct 30, 2011
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In 1973 I graduated from High School. I decided to buy myself a new really good guitar to celebrate. Up to that time, I had only bought cheap, not-so-nice guitars because that's all I could afford. So I went to my local music store with plenty of time on my hands, and saw the banner they had hanging on this long wall that said: "Any Les Paul on the wall - $595". I pulled every single one of them down and played them one at a time. I didn't know there were different kind of Les Pauls. All I had ever seen or played at the time were Fender student Musicmaster, Mustang and Strats (in the really nice guitar category) except for one kid in the neighborhood who had a Gibson SG. So going through all the LPs, I set this one aside, put that one back. Nope, like this one better, skinny neck, feels better than that one. Leave that one. Put another one back. I wound up with about 4 or 5 down off the wall. Then I plugged them all into a Peavey 400 Musician witha 4/12 cabinet, played them all again. And I took a step back and looked at all of them side by side. They were all sunburst or tobacco burst except for this one... which was a solid Cherry Red finish. (I called it candy apple red at the time.) It had different pickups on it too. (Baby Humbuckers). So I thought that was neat too. I bought that Les Paul, strap, cord, picks, strings, hardshell case, and that Peavey 400 Musician with the 4/12 cabinet too. I went into debt so far it wasn't funny, but I wanted that rig and I didn't care. That was the very first loan I ever had.
I joined a Top-40 dance band that fall in college and we played every weekend. If we weren't booked at a fraternity party, it was an apartment complex monthly party, or a High-School Senior Prom. We were busy. And I paid that rig off in no time. After my college days, I joined a country band playing 6 nights a week in clubs all over the Southeast. Good money, too. I hauled that guitar everywhere. But I took really good care of it. It is still in mint condition. I never scraped any of the finish off the back with my belt buckle or anything like that. After I married, my wife bought an Anvil flight case for it. The old case was really showing it's wear. But it had protected my LP well. Once, while in Florida, I took it to a music store to get the intonation set. I just couldn't do it right myself for some reason. The owner was on the phone when I walked in, so I set it on the counter and opened the case. He couldn't get off the phone quick enough. He said he would set the intonation, but offered me a lot of money for it. I told him I never had any intention of selling it. And I still don't! I once found a Gibson rep was coming to a local music store, so I carried it by there, and asked him for an opinion. He told me about how much he thought it was worth (which was a LOT more than the $595 I paid for it). I was a Stage Manager at a blues Fesitval one year, and a group of "youngsters" came to play. The guitar player pulled 4 Les Pauls out of cases, and put them in his rack. I asked him about them. He said "That's a LP re-issue 1980, a re-issue 19xx, blah, blah, blah..." They were nice looking. I asked if I could play one. He said, "Sure, go ahead". So I picked one up, hit a few blues licks. He looked surprised that I actually knew how to play (and wasn't in a nursing home, I guess). He asked, "So, how do you like it?" I told him it was nice, but not as good as my "original, vintage 1973 Deluxe". He said "Wow! Where did you find one of THOSE?!!!" I told him I bought it brand new, and he stood there for a minute like a deer in the headlights, then realized just how old I had to be. I said "One owner, high mileage, mint condition." We both just laughed.
All my guitar buddies who have played my Les Paul want it. My wife swears that if I go before she does, she is going to bury it with me. She doesn't want to see a fight amongst all my friends. They all want to be named in "The Will".
I take other guitars to festivals if I play. I only take the Les Paul out of the vault at home and very special occasions to play at church, with an orchestra or some other gig where I have complete control of the environment. I worry about someone knocking over my irreplaceable LP, or stealing it. I will always have my '73 Deluxe. I may change amps like underwear (Peavey, Vox, Marshall, Crate over the years) but no matter what I play my LP through, it stills sounds great! I finally built a rack system I love, with 2 single 12" speaker cabinets I built, and a wireless footpedal board I made. I've bought and sold Strats, Telecasters, Paul Reed Smiths, but there will never be another guitar like my Les Paul.

Cool story and welcome here. :):dude:

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