Vintage 1955 Gibson Les Paul Model goldtop Factory Refinish and Update in 1969
Posted on March 05 2020
I'm always looking to buy vintage Gibson Les Paul guitars but I especially love the Les Pauls with beautiful gold finish from the mid 1950s. Please contact me here if you want to sell a Gibson Les Paul guitar: Where to sell vintage Gibson Les Paul guitar. I'd love to check it out! Here is the story of how I acquired a vintage 1955 Gibson Les Paul Model guitar that was factory refinished in 1969 from the son of the original owner:
I remember when I first saw the seller's pictures of this guitar and the guitar envy that I immediately felt. The price wasn't within the range of what one would expect to pay for a refinished Goldtop. In fact, he was asking more than the price I asked for my '54 goldtop with original finish. I kept looking through the listing and saw a guitar that I felt I needed to have and wondered how it would be possible to come together with the seller. I finished looking through the pictures and the vague description and figured I should probably check to see where it was located. I started laughing to myself when I read the name of the city of "Arab, AL" because it was a) only about an hour's drive from my house and b) it's actually pronounced "Ayy-Rab".
It only took 6 months and a few trips back and forth to Arab to develop a relationship with the son of the original owner. His dad told him that he sent the guitar "back to Gibson in 1960" but I could tell the story must have gotten confused somewhere along the way. It looked to me like factory Gibson work but none of it looked anywhere close to 1960. The chrome tune-o-matic bridge with Nylon saddles, nickel Bigbsy B5 with threaded in string anchors, color of the finish, and position of the Les Paul signature all seemed to indicate 1969, plus or minus a year or so. I think the seller appreciated the details I was willing to talk through with him to help demystify the lingo of the guitar world that he was a little tired of being forced into.
We eventually met in the middle of our previous counter offers and counted out the stacks of cash on his living room table. His son's playful kitten kept jumping on the table and knocking over the stacks :). I drove home wondering "what am I going to tell people this guitar is? Will they believe me or care?" The worries faded away after I got home and played it through a proper amp. I didn't care at that point if anyone bought it or not! I was just glad to have it.