Half a century ago was born a guitar which would become a true icon of rock.
Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton – they all created legendary riffs on the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard.
True, the ’59 might not be the oldest Les Paul. That honour goes to the ’52.
Nor was the ’59 the first to get the PAF humbuckers and glorious maple top with burst. They came in ’57 and ’58 respectively.
But the ’59 had the faster neck. Add all these aforementioned factors together and the result is what enthusiasts regard as the holy grail of guitars.
You will have heard classic Les Pauls a thousand times at gigs…on albums and DVDs, on the radio and TV.
However, there is little to compare with hearing one in its full glory at close quarters.
Go to your local guitar shop. Ask them plug a classic Les Paul into a Marshall valve amp and savour the awesome sound.
Trust me, they’ll love you for it – any excuse to demo a great Les Paul.
Then buy one. You will love your Les Paul long after this recession and the next one have been and gone.
At least a year has passed since Gibson launched the revolutionary Robot Guitar (December 7th 2007) – an axe capable of retuning itself in mid-song, thanks to motorised tuning pegs.
What has happened since that giant servo-assisted leap forward for the glorious Les Paul?
Well, there has been a similar motorised makeover for the SG – but my point is, what have guitarists done to exploit this Robot Guitar technology and really push the musical envelope?
Not enough, one could argue.
Imagine what Hendrix would have achieved with a Robot Guitar – what incredible sounds he could have conjured.
Where is the new Hendrix of the Robot Guitar age? Why has no-one stepped up to the plate and used the Robot Guitar to redefine the sound of rock as Jimi did with the guitars, amps and FX pedals available to him in the ’60s?
True innovators like Jeff Beck and Steve Vai have created unique sounds with non-robotised axes, so why has no-one gone truly stratospheric with the servos on the Robot Guitar?
Buckethead is innovating with some comparitively simple modifications to a Les Paul, so just think what the next Hendrix could achieve with the Robot Guitar.