Namesake Les Paul’s personal “Number One” guitar heads to auction

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Namesake Les Paul’s personal “Number One” guitar heads to auction

Words by Sam McNiece

The guitar that started it all...

You’d have to be living under a rock to not know what a Les Paul guitar is. The iconic design released by Gibson has been played by legendary guitar players such as Slash, Paul McCarney and Eric Clapton just to name a few. Now, the guitar that was the first approved design, and Les Paul’s personal guitar used to perform and record with is up for auction.

What you need to know:

  • Les Paul’s first approved Gibson eponymous guitar heads to auction through Christies October 13, 2021.
  • “Number One” is the 1952 Les Paul Gold Top which Paul approved, used and helped shape electric guitar playing for generations to come.
  • This solid body guitar is one of the most iconic guitars around the globe and is sure to go for a pretty penny.

Read all the latest product news here.

“This was the most historically significant, valuable, pivotal, and important guitar to my father, his crowning achievement.” – Gene Paul (Les Paul’s Son) on the “Number One” guitar.

Les Paul, responsible for multi-track recording and early tape effects such as overdubbing and delay, was a prolific inventor and worked with Gibson to electrify the guitar. The Gibson Les Paul was born out of a collaboration between the two, with this guitar serving as the successful prototype approved by Paul.

Paul went on to use and play this legendary guitar in many settings, which he described as one of his most prized possessions.

The “Number One” guitar is being sold by his son, Gene Paul and Tom Doyle, Paul’s guitar builder, engineer and producer.

“Les brought his idea to Gibson and they initially dismissed it outright, but Les was dogged. He held strong to his ideas and his beliefs, knowing that someday they would see the light. Les kept tinkering and inventing, and making his concept better and better. Then finally after about 10 years, and after lots of trial and error, the good folks at Gibson presented this very guitar to Les. He was smitten, and he was overjoyed… and the rest, as they say, is history”, says Tom Doyle.

The guitar will be offered at Christie’s ‘Exceptional Sale’ on October 13 through their New York house.

Check out the Les Paul “Number One” website for more info into the legacy of this guitar.