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Anyone have a good link detailing the Les Paul History?


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I'm doing a report on the history of the Gibson Les Paul. I want to really sell my class on the "Les Paul" being (in my opinion ...some might argue it's the Strat) the most influential guitar in the history of rock and metal. So if anyone has any good links I would be very grateful!



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...Start here, noting the introduction...

I'd very much like to second what jdgm suggests here (my emphasis) because the wiki article contains numerous errors; many of them of great significance.

As early as the second sentence;

"The Les Paul was designed by Ted McCarty..."

Erm...no, it wasn't.

Ted McCarty was the CEO of Gibson at the time and was absolutely instrumental (pun) in producing the LP range but he had practically no input whatsoever as regards it's design.


I know you would like to do all your research on-line but I have to say you will get a far more accurate understanding of the model by reading up in the old-fashioned way - using books.


By far the most useful - and in all probability the most accurate - one I've read is Gil Hembree's "Gibson Guitars - Ted McCarty's Golden Years 1948 - 1966".

Hembree is an historian. He didn't just re-write an account based on what was already in the public domain; he actually went out and interviewed the folks who designed and made the Les Paul in the first place. The Gibson employees.

As well as the highly informative chapter on the Les Paul guitar the interviews towards the end of the book shed much light on the evolution of the LP.


FWIW according to practically all those interviewed the lion's share of the Les Paul design seems to have been down to the efforts of one man in particular - Larry Allers.

But don't bother trying to find that name anywhere in the wiki article....


I don't know whether this is of interest but here's (a poor copy of) a snap showing one of the few surviving LP prototypes.

This instrument was saved from the bandsaw (the usual fate of prototypes) by the abovementioned Allers himself.

A few of the fitments are possibly non-original but as the guitar was, in effect, an experimental 'test-bed' a selection of fittings would probably have been used over a period of time.





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Always listen to Pippy and You get Your dissertation right!


Also, let me post a guitar, which - among the various Les Paul models - has the most features that are Mr. Les Paul`s contibutions:




You might find, that on the design of the Les Paul model, Mr. Paul had minimal impact. Even those things, like the trapeze tailpiece design and the "goldtop" color - that are said to be suggested by Him - are disputed being His ideas.


However, after the resurrection of the Les Paul guitar in 1968, He had contributed a lot to the new Low-Z range instruments.


Good luck... Bence

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That's one nice LP Recording! BTW, that's a good looking guitar stand.


I remember a YouTube clip showing Lester talking about how he and Gibson's CEO started the LP such as the color black and the other gold, the body curves like a violin...etc.

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I remember a YouTube clip showing Lester talking about how he and Gibson's CEO started the LP......the body curves like a violin...etc....

Sorry to keep banging on about accurate sources and so on, kaicho, but the carved top came about during a discussion between Ted McCarty ('Gibson's CEO' as you mention) and Maurice Berlin; President of CMI.


Both Ted McCarty and Mr. Berlin wanted their new solid-body to be noticeably superior to Fender's new-fangled - and slab-bodied - Telecaster and Mr. Berlin, being a connoisseur and collector of violins (apparently he had a showcase full of fine examples on the premises), asked TM whether the new guitar could be produced with a violin-like top-carve. TM, knowing Fender, unlike Gibson, did not have the tooling required to offer this feature in their range thought it would be a great idea and one which would further position their upcoming instrument at a higher status/niche than the 'opposition' could reach.


And +1 on Bence's Recording!



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