Video of the Week: Les Paul guitar leads the music at Heritage



2015-06-26 12:30:32

Video of the Week: Les Paul guitar leads the music at Heritage

Auctioneers have sold Les Paul guitars for six figure sums - what makes them so coveted?

As Heritage looks ahead to its August 20 auction of vintage guitars and fine instruments, including a 1952 Les Paul Gold Top Electric, they're no doubt feeling optimistic about the sale.

After all, earlier this year they sold a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard Cherry Sunburst electric guitar for $131,450, beating its $100,000 estimate. Other auctioneers have had great success too, with a gold 1957 example beating its $60,000-80,000 listing to reach $94,000 at Skinner Inc last year.

But what is it about Les Paul that makes these guitars so collectible?

Born Lester William Polsfuss in Wisconsinin 1915 Les Paul was one of the figures who more or less invented the electric guitar as we now know it. His first solid-body version, called The Log, was used originally in 1940 after years of work.

This style of guitar made rock n roll possible, and Paul was also renowned as one of the pioneers of many revolutionary techniques which are now common place in the music and recording industry, such as overdubbing, multitrack recording, delay effects and fretting.

After countless changes and innovations, and his collaboration with manufacturers Gibson, his guitars went on to be used by stars like Eric Clapton, The Beatles' Paul McCartney and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page.

Even in 2005, while he was still alive, a 1959 Sunburst Gibson Les Paul was sold at Christie's for 171,000 ($268,000), setting a World Record price.

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