Great first picture of Keith in the studio, now we know which guitar he used for Midnight Rambler!
The Black Beauty actaully only is the Les Paul Custom from 1954, with P90 and Alnico 5 pickups. This guitar had really thin and low frets, making it perfect for fast soloing, but chords can sound out of tune. The later models with PAF's had the standard fret wire, and aren't Black Beauty's anymore, although even Gibson advertises these as such.
Keith had at least four 1957 three pickup Customs. He first used one in 1966, and this one got stolen on tour in 1967. He purchased a new one on Denmark Street in London, and this one was painted by himself and Anita. The guitar now is owned by a very known London collector, and he is open for offers, but expect a price of anything over $500.000.
The story is he gave this guitar away or left it in the Canada shop, but no one seems to know for sure. He bought two new ones for the 1969 tour, and used one for open G tuinig on Jumping Jack Flash and Street Fighting Man, the other for standard tuning. On the 1970 and 1971 tours he used two again, but for most open G songs he starting using the Ampeg Dan Armstrong. Both guitars were stolen at Nellcote in July 1971. I never seen him using Customs again, until two weeks ago, when some pictures were posted on Rocks Off of the Stones rehearsing for the El Mocambo shows, and later for a photo shoot around 1980. Keith holds a three-picup custom. The pictures were taken by I believe Nick Kent, who has a exibition.
1954 Les Paul Custom introduction specs:
carved mahogany top, single cutaway, mahogany back and neck, one black P-90 pickup in bridge position, one Alnico V pickup in neck position, both pickups have black covers, Tune-o-matic bridge, stop tailpiece (Bigsby vibrato optional), multiple bound top and back, single bound ebony fingerboard and peghead, block fingerboard inlays, pearl logo, 5-piece diamond peghead inlay, low "fretless wonder" frets, gold plated parts, black finish, early examples have no serial number. Later 1954 models have yellow "inked on" serial numbers.
mid 1957 Les Paul Custom specs:
3 Humbucking pickups replace 2 single coil pickups.
1959 Les Paul Custom specs:
Grover rotomatic tuners.
1961 Les Paul Custom specs:
complete body style change to symmetrical pointed double cutaways, thin mahogany body with beveled edges, white finish (refered to as the "SG" body style).
Les Paul Custom discontinued 1963 in name only (now called SG Custom).