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Page’s Les Pauls Question


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Looking for some clarification on Page’s Number 1 and Number 2 Les Paul Standards as I am trying to modify my 2003 Standard to be like his Number 1. 

Every recent picture as well as the Gibson re issue have the uncovered black Bridge pickup on the Number 1. However, pictures/videos from the early 70s period I’ve seen online and in his book there is a cover or a white humbucker there. In the book he notes that the white bridge pickup is a distinguishable feature of the number 2, but I’m not sure he had the number 2 on the early 70s tours. I am sure he switched the pickups at different points, but does anyone know any more about the timeline of this? 

Also, I was wondering about the “Page Wiring.” In the video Gibson did with him on the Number 1 recreation, he notes the only change he made when he bought it from Joe Walsh was changing the tuners. He only demonstrates the one push/pull knob for the out of phase Peter Green sound. Were the 4 push/pulls just a feature of the Number 2? 

Apologies for the lengthy post, have not been able to get a clear answer in my limited research. If anyone is more educated on this and can point me in the right direction I’d appreciate it!

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During Zeppelin's 1972 tour of Australia, his uncovered white Bobbin bridge pickup died. It got repaired but it was later replaced with a factory T-Top pickup with a chrome cover during 1972. it remained that way all throughout Zeppelin until it was replaced by an uncovered black Seymour Duncan pickup sometime in the '80s. His Number 2 was bought around 1975 and had its bridge pickup exposed showing white Bobbins similar to his Number 1 before the T-Top.

In short:

His Number 1 originally had white Bobbins before being Replayed by a T-Top. When Jimmy says that his Les Paul's are distinguishable by the colour of the Pickup Bobbins he is probably referring to them in their current state

 

Edited by Dazed Page
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12 minutes ago, Dazed Page said:

During Zeppelin's 1972 tour of Australia, his uncovered white Bobbin bridge pickup died. It got repaired but it was later replaced with a factory T-Top pickup with a chrome cover during 1972/1973. it remained that way all throughout Zeppelin until it was replaced by an uncovered black Seymour Duncan pickup sometime in the '80s. His Number 2 was bought around 1975 and had its bridge pickup exposed showing white Bobbins similar to his Number 1 before the T-Top.

In short:

His Number 1 originally had white Bobbins before being Replayed by a T-Top. When Jimmy says that his Les Paul's are distinguishable by the colour of the Pickup Bobbins he is probably referring to them in their current state

 

Ah got it, thank you for clearing that up! 

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14 hours ago, Dazed Page said:

During Zeppelin's 1972 tour of Australia, his uncovered white Bobbin bridge pickup died. It got repaired but it was later replaced with a factory T-Top pickup with a chrome cover during 1972. it remained that way all throughout Zeppelin until it was replaced by an uncovered black Seymour Duncan pickup sometime in the '80s. His Number 2 was bought around 1975 and had its bridge pickup exposed showing white Bobbins similar to his Number 1 before the T-Top.

In short:

His Number 1 originally had white Bobbins before being Replayed by a T-Top. When Jimmy says that his Les Paul's are distinguishable by the colour of the Pickup Bobbins he is probably referring to them in their current state

 

Also, IMO there is a very distinct difference between LP#1 & LP#2 in the "flame" of the wood. #1 is more a traditional sunburst color whereas #2 looks like a light tobacco-burst as the coloring is deeper and darker than the #1.

I believe the most modified of his actual gigging guitars is his #3 Norlan LP. That baby has all sorts of mods including the b-bender installed. It has also been re-painted at least twice since Zep ended. From 73' to 80' it was that funky purple color (originally the #3 was a gold top painted purple however the original gold bled through which created this very unique color) which I really liked. Next time the #3 is seen (I think) was during the 88' solo tour and by the 94' Coverdale / Page tour the #3 was a red-maroon color and had the b-bender.

FWIW his #3 LP is my favorite of his three LP's. Has the best tone IMO.

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16 hours ago, BobDobbs said:

Also, IMO there is a very distinct difference between LP#1 & LP#2 in the "flame" of the wood. #1 is more a traditional sunburst color whereas #2 looks like a light tobacco-burst as the coloring is deeper and darker than the #1.

I believe the most modified of his actual gigging guitars is his #3 Norlan LP. That baby has all sorts of mods including the b-bender installed. It has also been re-painted at least twice since Zep ended. From 73' to 80' it was that funky purple color (originally the #3 was a gold top painted purple however the original gold bled through which created this very unique color) which I really liked. Next time the #3 is seen (I think) was during the 88' solo tour and by the 94' Coverdale / Page tour the #3 was a red-maroon color and had the b-bender.

FWIW his #3 LP is my favorite of his three LP's. Has the best tone IMO.

Yeah there is definitely a visual difference between 1 and 2 in regards to the finish being a darker, slightly Tobacco burst. Also Number 2 has silver Grover tuners whereas Number 1 Has Golden Grover's, though its a bit hard to tell these days because they're a bit worn.

In his book, Jimmy refers to the Number 3 Red Les Paul as a Frankenstein guitar because it was made up of several different types of other LP's. I'd love for Gibson to make a re-issue of it, its beautiful!

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9 hours ago, Dazed Page said:

Yeah there is definitely a visual difference between 1 and 2 in regards to the finish being a darker, slightly Tobacco burst. Also Number 2 has silver Grover tuners whereas Number 1 Has Golden Grover's, though its a bit hard to tell these days because they're a bit worn.

In his book, Jimmy refers to the Number 3 Red Les Paul as a Frankenstein guitar because it was made up of several different types of other LP's. I'd love for Gibson to make a re-issue of it, its beautiful!

You know, I always wondered if he used a different neck on the #3 as the headstock does not look as large as the Norlin's. The body is a Norlin as I am pretty sure the #3 is either a 69' or 70' LP. Any insight as to the year of the #3?

Pancake body, single piece neck, who cares, the damn thing has tone for days.

Edited by BobDobbs
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On 8/13/2021 at 3:09 AM, BobDobbs said:

You know, I always wondered if he used a different neck on the #3 as the headstock does not look as large as the Norlin's. The body is a Norlin as I am pretty sure the #3 is either a 69' or 70' LP. Any insight as to the year of the #3?

Pancake body, single piece neck, who cares, the damn thing has tone for days.

Jimmy has this to say about it in The Anthology Book:

"I bought this guitar from Mike Ladd in Memphis. He was Involved in Hot Rods as well as guitars, so the finish of the guitar was in a hot rod colour. I was told that his uncle worked at Gibson and the Guitar had been put together from various old and new parts. The parts may have come from different vintages,  but it was still a good guitar. The Neck was very user-friendly..."

Perhaps an older neck and a newer body may explain  why the headstock doesn't' look as large but still have the pancake body. We'll probably never know. But yes, it does have tone for days indeed! 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/14/2021 at 4:24 AM, Dazed Page said:

Perhaps an older neck and a newer body may explain why the headstock doesn't' look as large but still have the pancake body. We'll probably never know. 

Les Pauls have set necks and I’d be surprised if the neck came from a different body. It’s possible but it seems unlikely. It’s easy to believe various parts such as tuners, pickups, switches, bridges, saddles and knobs could have originated on different guitars. It was increasingly common in the 70s for tuners on older guitars to be upgraded to Grovers and Schallers. Bridges sometimes collapse after long use. Pickups would sometimes begin to falter from night after night of sweat drenched live performances thereby requiring replacement. Sometimes they were just replaced for other reasons. I recall the #3 started life as a Les Paul Deluxe with mini-humbuckers before getting routed out to fit the humbuckers. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/30/2021 at 5:01 AM, 244300 said:

Les Pauls have set necks and I’d be surprised if the neck came from a different body. It’s possible but it seems unlikely. It’s easy to believe various parts such as tuners, pickups, switches, bridges, saddles and knobs could have originated on different guitars. It was increasingly common in the 70s for tuners on older guitars to be upgraded to Grovers and Schallers. Bridges sometimes collapse after long use. Pickups would sometimes begin to falter from night after night of sweat drenched live performances thereby requiring replacement. Sometimes they were just replaced for other reasons. I recall the #3 started life as a Les Paul Deluxe with mini-humbuckers before getting routed out to fit the humbuckers. 

So there is a chance it may not be a Norlin or a full Norlin (whatever that means). Those 69-70' Deluxe LP's are fetching five figures and the mini-humbuckers are actually much better than the standard when paired with the right amp, especially for slide work.

BTW, as much as Jimmy sweat while playing I am surprised he did not have to replace pickups nightly 😉 

 

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