1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard Burst in Cape Town, South Africa
Posted on March 19 2021
This guitar safari to buy a vintage 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard burst in Cape Town, South Africa was the trip of a lifetime! I am always a vintage Gibson Les Paul buyer but I'm especially looking for vintage Gibsons from the 1950s and 1960s. You can reach out to me here to sell a Gibson guitar.
You can check out some other Guitar Safaris here:
Here is the story of this '58 Gibson Les Paul burst from South Africa!
I received a message through my website from some good folks who were looking for confirmation and help with Gibson Les Paul guitar dating. They sent pictures and said it looked like a 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard (commonly called the Burst!). I was happy to confirm that yes, it is indeed a 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard with a nice flame top and only lightly faded red Sunburst finish. They mentioned that they would like to sell but they were in South Africa. I told them that was no problem! I'm happy to travel to be the buyer for this guitar.
It took me about 40 hours to get to Cape Town, South Africa from Birmingham, Alabama after connecting in Atlanta, Georgia, and Amsterdam, Netherlands. I was happy to find that the guitar was completely original except for a the bridge post location and glue in the bridge saddles. It weighs 8lbs 14oz and the neck profile is a C shape measuring .90" depth at the first fret.
I was told by the sellers that the guitar came from the family of its original owner whose first name was PJ! His name is still written on a sticker on the side of the case. It seems that a lot of Gibson guitars were exported to South Africa in the 1950s and 1960s.
The first half of this vintage guitar safari was largely uneventful except for learning how to drive on the opposite side of the road than I was used to. The real drama happened the day before I was supposed to leave South Africa. I received an e-mail from KLM Airlines saying that my flight from Cape Town to Amsterdam was cancelled because of a travel ban by the Netherlands for South Africa! I had to rebook my flight for that day after receiving a negative covid test. I was very grateful to get a flight connecting in Doha, Qatar then on to Philadelphia. It was wild!