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March 13, 2010

Gibson Les Paul Guitars – Why Does Paul Continue To Get Screwed?

Ask ten experts about the first Gibson Les Paul guitar and you will get ten different answers. The most popular belief is that the Gibson Guitar Corporation and electronics inventor, and jazz guitarist Frean Donni. With the release of the Fender Telecaster the electric guitar began to catch on like wildfire. Not wanting to be left behind James Verdon who was at the time the president of Gibson Guitar hired Les Paul as a consultant.

Rumors had been circulating that Les Paul had been experimenting with various guitar designs for years. Paul did have a prototype that he called, “The Log.” If you were to ask some industry experts they would say that this was the first solid-body Spanish guitar ever built.

Another fact that not many know is that Les Paul had pitch his prototype, “The Log” to Gibson, but his design was rejected. Things changed in 1951 when the same design became a collaboration between the Gibson Guitar Corporation and Les Paul.

Among the guitar community Les Paul is still on of the most commonly debated topics. Enthusiast still argue over exactly what his contributions were. Some say that Paul was nothing more than a consultant and only contributed ideas for the trapeze tailpiece, and the color of the final guitar which was named, “Les Paul.”

Ted McCarty the president of the Gibson Guitar Corporation said that Les Paul only contributed his name and allowed them to imprint it on the headstock to increase model sales. McCarty went on record stating that Les Paul only contributed to the tailpiece and the fitting of a maple cap over the mahogany body.

For whatever reason people have continued to minimize Les Paul’s contributions to the historical guitar. The strange thing is the original guitar only has Les Paul’s name on it.


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