Every epidemic has a patient zero. Great ideas always spread from an epicentre, from an initial specimen that is later hailed as a trailblazer. This Les Paul Sunburst is a reissue of the 1959 model (reissue 59, or R9 for the initiated) released by the Gibson Custom Shop in 1995. These characteristics alone would be enough to stir up the desire of musicians familiar with the production quality coming out of Nashville at that time.
But the most important feature is elsewhere: it is in fact the first Les Paul aged for Gibson by the illustrious Tom Murphy. Since then, Murphy has become the real benchmark for the “relic” Gibson, to the point that all the brands that offer pre-used Les Pauls are directly inspired by the techniques he has developed. The hallmark of a true genius is that even their first attempts are masterstrokes, and that has never been truer than in the case of 9 5 003 (this guitar’s serial number). You’d swear it was the wear and tear of an original sunburst. Every detail is perfectly realistic and executed with the precision and good taste of a true artist. This instrument certainly deserves to be the first to wear the master’s initials, like all the guitars that have passed through his hands since.
Add to that a very successful cherry sunburst paint job (the red border is not too invasive, just right) and a tiger-finish top with a striking 3D effect, and you have a Les Paul of undeniable pedigree. And that signature on the top? It is the signature of the master of the sunburst himself, Mr Jimmy Page, who signed and played this guitar in a competition organised in 1996 by Guitar Center. You can’t get much classier than that.