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The 1977 Acoustic Set

History of Jimmy's #1 Les Paul w/Joe Walsh

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Evster steals Noel's thunder! :lol:

MeJimmyatQ-2.jpg

You lucky bastard Ev. Did you get to chat much? After reading a post about how Jimmy often leaves an event/party/place out of frustration (forever being asked for chats or autograph). I don't know if i would feel right to approach him. (not saying you shouldn't have Ev ) Gee it would be hard to see my idol on the other side of the room, and stop myself from saying hello. I've been able to do that with all my motor sport gods. Luckily it's not so hard in Australia. We don't have the populous, 100 or so waiting in line, not 1000 or so. I think that's why most of our stars love coming home. Oh to meet the great man. That must be a picture you will treasure for the rest of your life. Again, I'm completely green...........LOL <_<:D

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Hey Ev - Noel's got a jacket just like yours!

02_main.jpg

Good photoshop skills there my friend - that's one on the neatest I've ever seen...

B)

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Haha! Yeah, it was Photoshopped. Sorry Moose, I thought everyone would get the joke with the Noel reference. That is in fact my face on Noel's body. Lucky bastard! :lol:

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Haha! Yeah, it was Photoshopped. Sorry Moose, I thought everyone would get the joke with the Noel reference. That is in fact my face on Noel's body. Lucky bastard! :lol:

Jimmy's probably thinking to himself..... "get your fu**ing hand off me". <_< How dare he touch royalty. Piece of sh**. :angry: Do you know the story behind the pic? The one you photo shopped with him smiling and pointing at him could have some interesting captions put to it. "Can you believe this joker", "he thinks he's a guitarist", "Security......deal with this would you", ect. Should create a post to see what people come up with. ;)

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I don't know if I'm putting this question in the right spot, but here goes. Does anyone know if Joe Walsh used the 1959 Les Paul he gave/sold to Jimmy on record or live with the James Gang before he gave it to Jimmy? It would be interesting to hear how the guitar sounded in Joe's hands before it made it's way to Jimmy's.

I guess I should have titled this thread "Is Jimmy's #1 a '58 or '59, discuss."

Any word on whether or not there is some documentation of Joe Walsh playing the guitar?

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I guess I should have titled this thread "Is Jimmy's #1 a '58 or '59, discuss."

Any word on whether or not there is some documentation of Joe Walsh playing the guitar?

Went a bit off topic there, didn't it? ;)

Basically, I've never heard a single piece of info about Walsh's posession of the guitar. He had a few, and was a bit of a trader I think - he provided Pete Townshend a couple of guitars, too. So perhaps an Eagles/Walsh site would turn up some better info. Sorry not to have anything.

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Jimmy's probably thinking to himself..... "get your fu**ing hand off me". <_< How dare he touch royalty. Piece of sh**. :angry: Do you know the story behind the pic? The one you photo shopped with him smiling and pointing at him could have some interesting captions put to it. "Can you believe this joker", "he thinks he's a guitarist", "Security......deal with this would you", ect. Should create a post to see what people come up with. ;)

When that pic was my avi on the old board, the caption read "Hey Ev, pull my finger!" :lol:

And it's from the 2005 Q Awards where Jimmy received the Icon Award. Oasis took home Best Album and People's Choice. Noel Gallagher is their guitarist and lead vocalist.

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edited to say: see next. (sorry, browser troubles)

Edited by docron

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They're switched on that one. And if you pull out the centerfold in the very same publication's "Most Valuable Guitars" it says "Jimmy's 1958 Number One Les Paul". That magazine has contradicted itself on several occasions, and even issued corrections from the editor. I'll take the word of a Gibson Custon Shop luthier over a rock magazine thanks. B)

Jimmy's Number One has a shaved neck. That's when the serial number was sanded off. Number Two has a normal neck and a serial number. The Gibson Signature model has a modified neck. That would be cause enough to dispute Guitar World.

If you feel the need to go deeper, Jimmy's Tom Murphy aged replica has nicks in the finish that were on Jimmy's main guitar years before he bought Number Two. His main guitar was always Number One. By comparison, Number Two is nearly flawless as he hardly used it but for a backup if he broke a string, as he did in 1973 with his Cherry Red Les Paul which was his backup before he bought Number Two.

Family portrait circa 1977. Note Number Two missing its pickup cover.

JimmysArsenal.jpg

Hey Ev, I always thought his number 2 had one black pickup cover, while his number 1 had cream colored ones. I didn't know #2 just simply didn't have a cover on it!?

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Hey Ev, I always thought his number 2 had one black pickup cover, while his number 1 had cream colored ones. I didn't know #2 just simply didn't have a cover on it!?

#2 has always had a nickel cover on the neck pickup, and the bridge has been:

1975 - no cover, double white pickup exposed

early 80s - nickel cover

O2 gig - no cover, double white pickup exposed.

#1 has also always had a nickel covered neck pickup, and the bridge went:

April 1969 - nickel cover

Autumn 1969 - no cover, double white pickup exposed

mid 1972 - pickup replaced, chrome cover (not nickel),

1988 - no cover, exposed double black pickup.

Simple as that...

;)

Edited by huw

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Clearly the Oakland Coliseum, I've seen many a show there.

July 23 and 24 1977 I was there

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#2 has always had a nickel cover on the neck pickup, and the bridge has been:

1975 - no cover, double white pickup exposed

early 80s - nickel cover

O2 gig - no cover, double white pickup exposed.

#1 has also always had a nickel covered neck pickup, and the bridge went:

April 1969 - nickel cover

Autumn 1969 - no cover, double white pickup exposed

mid 1972 - pickup replaced, chrome cover (not nickel),

1988 - no cover, exposed double black pickup.

Simple as that...

;)

Thanks for the info man.., I've been mislead in a different thread about this...

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On 8/14/2008 at 10:55 PM, StringBender said:

 

Correct as pointed out above. Jimmy purchased it from Joe. Can't recall the exact amount (Jimmy mentioned it in one of the Guitar World pieces last year but I'm too lazy to dig it out) but as many of the '58-'59's they were bought for a few hundred bucks and now all will pull 6-figures on the market. Amazing resell value I must say.

 

And Ev you're right about the lack of a number. I personally know a guy who was in the Gibson shop when it came in years ago and he specifically mentioned that.

 

There ain't nothing like a '58-'59 Les Paul....except maybe a pre-war Martin!

Jimmy paid $500 for the guitar according to Guitar Player's March 22, 2017 issue:

"But early the next year, Page bought the Les Paul Standard—his first—from Joe Walsh, paying $500 for it. He used it to record Zeppelin II that May. The guitar became and remained his favorite guitar throughout his years with Zeppelin, and as he acquired others he started referring to it as Number 1."

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Some more background on the Joe Walsh sale of the guitar to Jimmy:

Page got his ’59 from Joe Walsh (James Gang; later Eagles) in April of 1969, and it very soon took the place of the Fender Telecaster which he was using at that time. Walsh did an interview with Guitar World magazine in which he shared the story about the exchange:

Jimmy was still playing the Telecasters that he played in the Yardbirds. He was looking for a Les Paul and asked if I knew of any, ’cause he couldn’t find one that he liked. And I had two. So I kept the one I liked the most and I flew with the other one. I laid it on him and said, ‘Try this out. He really liked it, so I gave him a really good deal, about 1,200 bucks. I had to hand-carry it; I flew there and everything. So whatever my expenses were, that’s what I charged him. But again, I just thought he should have a Les Paul for godsakes! – Read full interview on Guitar World

This guitar had a few modification done to it before it got into Page’s hands. The back of the neck was sanded down and shaved, making it very thin and easier to play  – which was the thing that Page really liked about this guitar. After Page got to play the guitar for couple of gigs, he decided to swap the original Kluson tuners with gold-plated Grovers – since he was already familiar with them from his Les Paul Custom.

The electronics were modified as well. Pickups were changed numerous times. Firstly, the guitar had Seth Lover PAF pickups, but after a tour of Australia in 1972 the bridge pickup malfunctioned, and was promptly replaced with a chrome T-Top humbucker which remained there for the duration of Led Zeppelin. The T-Top was eventually replaced with a custom wound Seymour Duncan humbucker sometime in the 90’s. The neck pickup remained the same until the 2000’s when it was replaced by a PAF humbucker from the 1960s.
Also, one of the original knobs was replaced with a push-pull knob, which enabled Jimmy to reverse the phase of the pickups.

Another interesting thing about this particular guitar is that it’s still unknown what year model the guitar is. Due to sanding of the neck, and the fact that none of the pickups are original, the serial number on the guitar is no longer present. But most people agree that this Les Paul is probably a late 1959, or early 1960.

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Quite amazing detailed info which I enjoyed even though I'm not a musician and don't understand a lot of the talk....but all good!

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17 hours ago, drowan said:

Another interesting thing about this particular guitar is that it’s still unknown what year model the guitar is. Due to sanding of the neck, and the fact that none of the pickups are original, the serial number on the guitar is no longer present. But most people agree that this Les Paul is probably a late 1959, or early 1960.

Sorry, I don`t see your conclusion. So the back of the neck was sanded down and shaved, but one has to be slightly deranged for sanding or shaving the back of the headstock, as this would be completely useless. And the serial number of a Les Paul is, as far as I know, on the back of the headstock.

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Indeed rather strange, but wouldn't a shout out to Gibson rectify this dilemma ?? Ha Ha,

probably not. I mean, there is still disagreement whether or not Zep played a certain hall

in their first two tours, or more. Small halls sure, Zep a newbie, but I find these gaping

holes in confirmed facts really hilarious. As if if we were in the Stone Age back then.

Also, each to his own, but Jimmy has large hands, 90% of the time large handed guitarists

get cramps playing thin necks, and those LP's from what I know did not have today's

compound radius necks, which are more comfortable for large handed players as the

neck widens higher up the neck. That's my 2 cents. Great post and laser like evaluation

of those magical LP's.

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15 hours ago, Autumn Moon said:

Sorry, I don`t see your conclusion. So the back of the neck was sanded down and shaved, but one has to be slightly deranged for sanding or shaving the back of the headstock, as this would be completely useless. And the serial number of a Les Paul is, as far as I know, on the back of the headstock.

 

It is extremely well documented that #1 is missing the serial number of the back of the headstock. At this point in time, the original cause may simply be filed under "miscelaneous repairs".

 

:)

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17 hours ago, Autumn Moon said:

Sorry, I don`t see your conclusion. So the back of the neck was sanded down and shaved, but one has to be slightly deranged for sanding or shaving the back of the headstock, as this would be completely useless. And the serial number of a Les Paul is, as far as I know, on the back of the headstock.

maybe the back of the head was also sanded down for aesthetic reasons, so that when the neck was re-stained or varnished it all looked the same

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what ive never heard, is where joe walsh acquired the les paul in the first place

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Jimmy instantly grew attached to his new guitar, "As soon as I played the Les Paul I fell in love. Not that the Tele isn't user friendly, but the Les Paul was gorgeous and easy to play. It just seemed like a good touring guitar." It was certainly a contrast from the Telecaster he had been using, "It's more of a fight with the Telecaster but there are rewards. The Gibson's got all that very stereotyped sound, maybe, I don't know, but it's got a really beautiful sustain. I do like sustain. It relates to bowed instruments. Sustain speaks for itself, that's the whole thing. It's the whole are that everyone's been experimenting in, once it became electric, if you think about it - it was mainly sustain." Page declared.

1969-05-02_Rose_Palace_03.jpg
Jimmy with the Les Paul a week after he purchased it in San Francisco, playing at the Rose Palace in Pasadena, CA

There have been many modifications to this particular Les Paul, but the most glaring is the neck. The profile of the neck of Jimmy's guitar is very shallow, much more so than Les Pauls of the time were known to be. "It came as it was with a shallow neck, " Jimmy recalled to Edwin Wilson, "When I acquired it from Joe Walsh it had already been refinished. It's possible that one of the reasons he wanted to sell me the guitar was that it didn't feel the same to him when he got it back from the shop." Walsh later told Guitar World about the work he commissioned on the guitar, Joe took the guitar to Virgil Lay of Lay's Guitars in Akron, Ohio, "Virgil was the guy that, if you had a crack in your neck you'd go and he'd repair it...he's kind of a master luthier. So I had Virgil shave the neck of that Les Paul a little. It was a big, fat neck originally, and I didn't like that. And I think the shaved neck is what Jimmy liked about the guitar. It was kind of a custom neck on a Les Paul."

Wilson himself was astonished at the profile of the neck, "What's real interesting is that the neck is as stable as it is given how thin it is. In the middle section it's sanded really strangely. It's right on the truss rod...I think you could probably take a pocket knife and shove through that thin section there and you'd hit the truss rod, that that much wood gone out of there.
 

1969-06-28RoyalAlbertHall.jpg
Good view of the neck of Jimmy's Number One

The electronics of the instrument have been modified over the years as well. At some point Jimmy added a push/pull pot on the guitar that sends it's pickups into an out of phase mode. "I wanted to be able to reverse the phase of the pickups to get a close approximation of the sound Peter Green got." he explained. The pickups in the Number One have been changed out numerous times as well. The guitar of course began it's life with the legendary Seth Lover patent applied for humbucking pickups, but after a tour of Australia in 1972, the double white bobbin bridge pickup failed, and was replaced by a chrome T-Top humbucker which remained there for the duration of Led Zeppelin. The T-Top was switched eventually switched out for a custom wound Seymour Duncan pickup sometime in the 1990's. The neck pickup remained in position until the 2000's when it was replaced by a patent applied for humbucker from 1960; the reason why is unknown.

Jimmy also replace the Kluson tuning machines with Grovers, "The only thing I did was change the tuning machines to the sealed Grovers, which I was familiar with from my Les Paul Custom. With a three-piece band like Led Zeppelin, you couldn't have slipping machine heads."
 

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You can see the original white bobbin humbucker in this photo

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding this guitar is what year model is it? Due to the refinishing job commissioned by Joe Walsh, the serial number on the back of the guitar was sanded off, furthermore, the biggest clue to identifying what year a specific example of the 1958-1960 run of sunburst Les Pauls is to look at the neck profile, which of course was modified in Jimmy's guitar. Edwin Wilson who was asked by Page for his opinion on the matter, and who had time to examine the guitar for himself thinks he has the answer:

"I was looking at the guitar from the standpoint of somebody who works with tooling for making these things, who has dealt with tooling and production on many levels," Wilson prefaced. After examining the neck, Wilson deduced that there hadn't been enough wood for whoever sanded the guitar down for it to be a 1958, "It would have swollen up more around the heel, and if it were a 60, I don't think the heel would have been shaped as it was. If it were a late 60, where the neck was real thin, there wasn't enough wood there. So I said to Jimmy, to me it looks like a late 59, or maybe an early 60."

For additional proof that the guitar is a late 1959, or early 1960, one needs to also consider the bobbins. When Page uncovered his bridge pickup shortly after purchasing it from Joe Walsh, it was revealed that the bobbins on the pickups were white. Gibson didn't produce pickups with white bobbins until 1959. 
 

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Old Friends

Below I've attached some pictures of closeups of Jimmy's Number one as it appears today so you can all see the guitar for yourselves.

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Body    

 

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Body
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Headstock

As I've mentioned before it's one of the most iconic instruments in rock music, and the reason I own two Gibson Les Pauls myself!

Many people have requested a neck profile shot of Jimmy's Les Paul, I was able to find a picture that contrasted the neck with other Les Paul necks so that you can get a feeling for how shallow it is. This is not Jimmy's actual Les Paul in the photo, but a re-creation of the guitar done by Gibson in 2005, nevertheless it has the same specs as Jimmy's actual guitar.
 

DSC00005_1.jpg

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