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The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: ChrisM ()
Date: February 19, 2007 21:02

For those of you who are interested, and I know there are a few, there is a feature on this legendary guitar in the April edition of Britain's Guitarist Magazine:





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2007-02-19 21:04 by ChrisM.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: Glass Slide ()
Date: February 19, 2007 21:04

How much sweeter would that guitar be w/o that damn Bigsby?

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: ChrisM ()
Date: February 19, 2007 21:35

There's nowt wrong with the Bigsby Glass Slide, at least in my view! I have one on my R8 and I make use of it though I know that Keith and Mick didn't. I think the additional surface area of the Bigsby that is in direct contact with the guitar's top over the traditional stop tail piece adds to the guitar's tonal characteristics. Just listen to the tone of this guitar on Ya Yas versions of "Honky Tonk Women" and "Love In Vain" and especially on "Blues From Laurel Canyon" where the guitar's tone really shines. Just my tuppence of course.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2007-02-19 21:35 by ChrisM.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: Glass Slide ()
Date: February 19, 2007 21:41

Interesting point Chris re tonal impact. I will go back and listen to those songs and try to compare. I might have thought it would make it sound a little thinner but I don't own one and you do.

Blues From Laurel Canyon! Bought that on eBay a while back--great guitar work--I just have a hard time with Mayall's voice.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: February 19, 2007 21:45

nice! thanks for the heads-up, ChrisM.
maybe they'll finally tell us whether Keith got this guitar at the start of the first US tour or at the end.
in the meanwhile ... maybe someone wants to have a listen to the Chess Studios sessions
and talk about whether we hear this guitar on them or the Epiphone or both?
i truly have been pining for the longest time to hear you Guitar Connoisseurs talk about those sessions -
i'll even make fresh popcorn.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2007-02-22 09:49 by with sssoul.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: ChrisM ()
Date: February 19, 2007 21:57

Pop corn sounds good Ms sssoul, just no butter for me!. I'll have to listen to the Chess sessions again to see if I can hear the guitar. I have to confess that on the live TV appearences where you see Keith with this it the tonal signature is not readily apparent, but then alot of these appearences were lip synched!

As to the Bigsby's impact on the guitar's tone there are those of course who would disagree but the Les Paul's characteristics mid range honk is quite evident on this guitar. However, the only way to measure the impact would be to remove the Bigsby and install a stop tail piece, which would be maddness in my view but here are recent pictures of the guitar without the Bigsby and with stud pieces installed so the new or previous owner (the guitar was recently sold to someone in Britain for in excess of $500K!) at least temporarily removed it, but is my understanding that the guitar is now in it's original condition.





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2007-02-19 22:18 by ChrisM.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: February 19, 2007 22:06

>> i'll even make fresh popcorn. <<

not only that, but i'll give you a list of the extant june 64 Chess recordings -
courtesy of nzentgraf.de as usual:

1964 10th June: Chicago, Chess Studios. Producer: Andrew Oldham. Sound engineer: Ron Malo.
- I Can't Be Satisfied (McKinley Morganfield) - The Rolling Stones No. 2 version
- It's All Over Now I (Bobby and Shirley Womack) - 7“ version
- It's All Over Now II (Bobby and Shirley Womack) - US single edit
- Stewed and Keefed (Nanker Phelge)

1964 11th June: Chicago, Chess Studios. Producer: Andrew Oldham. Sound engineer: Ron Malo.
- Around and Around (Chuck Berry) - Five By Five version
- Confessin' the Blues (Walter Brown/Jay McShann) - Five By Five version
- Down in the Bottom (Willie Dixon)
- Down the Road Apiece (Don Raye) - The Rolling Stones No. 2 version
- Empty Heart (Nanker Phelge) - Five By Five version
- Hi-Heel Sneakers (Robert Higginbotham)
- If You Need Me (Wilson Pickett/Robert Bateman) - Five By Five version
- Look What You've Done (McKinley Morganfield) - December’s Children version
- Reelin' and Rockin' (Chuck Berry)
- Tell Me Baby (Big Bill Broonzy) - The Rest of the Best version
- 2120 South Michigan Avenue I (Nanker Phelge) - long version (on German Around and Around album)
- 2120 South Michigan Avenue II (Nanker Phelge) - edit of I (Five By Five version)

are the ones listed here for No 2 and Five by Five the same versions that are on 12 x 5 and Now?
and ... what guitars do we hear on them, please and thank you very kindly? [passing popcorn]

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: February 19, 2007 22:21

>> Pop corn sounds good Ms sssoul, just no butter for me! <<

don't worry - with my popcorn, butter is always available and always optional. :E
i believe this guitar first turns up on TV on one of the Ready Steady Go shows after the first US tour -
some of which were mimed to playback and some of which weren't. but since those were *after* the tour,
they don't help with the question of whether Keith got this guitar at the start or at the end of the tour.
i've never seen any shots of him with it *during* the first US tour, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything;
so i'm yearning to know whether or not it's audibly there on the Chess sessions.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2007-02-19 22:23 by with sssoul.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: jonnyharris ()
Date: February 19, 2007 22:34

God I love that guitar. x

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: terraplane ()
Date: February 19, 2007 22:38

Didn't Keith get this guitar from Rick Derringer originally?

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: February 19, 2007 22:47

>> i believe this guitar first turns up on TV on one of the Ready Steady Go shows after the first US tour <<

hm - strangely enough, the first RSG i have photos of it from is from january 65 -
i'll have to check the footage i have to see if there's any sign of it on any earlier RSGs than that.
Keith for sure had this guitar for the first Ed Sullivan appearance (october 64), which wasn't playback;
and for the TAMI show a couple of days later (which nzentgraf.de seems to think is playback, but no one else seems to agree).

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: February 20, 2007 00:56

The bigsby and tune-o-matic bridge to this guitar are NOT original to this guitar.

Mathijs

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: tomk ()
Date: February 20, 2007 04:17

terraplane Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Didn't Keith get this guitar from Rick Derringer
> originally?

You may be thinking of George Harrison's red Les Paul
[which can be seen in the Revolution promo clip).
According to the book The Beatles Gear, this guitar was
first owned by Derringer and was originally a goldtop.
After he had if refinished red, he decided that the guitar "lost something
in its tone" and traded it at a music store. It was eventually
bought by Eric Clapton who gave it to HArrison.
This is probably the guitar Clapton used for Gently Weeps, though I don't think
anyone knows for sure. It's probable, too, that HArrison DID NOT use
this Les PAul on any songs from the White Album. Those being done
on his psychadelic Strat and Gibson SG. It is featured on a lot of songs
from ABbey Road. Harrison still owned this guitar at the time of his death.
BTW, I wonder what's gonna happen with all of his classic guitars.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: ChrisM ()
Date: February 20, 2007 04:43

Mathijs Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The bigsby and tune-o-matic bridge to this guitar
> are NOT original to this guitar.
>
> Mathijs

Could you tell us why you believe that to be true Mathijs? My understanding is that most Bigsby equipped Les Pauls had stud holes drilled at the Gibson factory, like Keiths, and that the Bigsbys were installed for custom orders and that only a few began life with just the Bigsby and no stud holes. If you know something about this guitar before Keith got it then please share it rather than making a declarative statement with nothing else to substantiate it. Please elaborate!

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: ChrisM ()
Date: February 20, 2007 04:51

tomk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
Harrison still owned this guitar at the time of his death. BTW, I wonder what's gonna happen with all of his classic guitars.

Hi Tom. I heard that George's son Dani bought his SG when it was up for auction at Christies a few years ago and that Harrison's estate owns most of his guitars, including the red Les Paul which interestingly enough Georges' wife bought back from a dealer in Mexico after it was stolen (At least that is what I read somewhere) By the way, the Les Paul that is the subject of this thread was sold at the same auction as the SG.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: tomk ()
Date: February 20, 2007 07:09

ChrisM Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> tomk Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> Harrison still owned this guitar at the time of
> his death. BTW, I wonder what's gonna happen with
> all of his classic guitars.
>
> Hi Tom. I heard that George's son Dani bought his
> SG when it was up for auction at Christies a few
> years ago and that Harrison's estate owns most of
> his guitars, including the red Les Paul which
> interestingly enough Georges' wife bought back
> from a dealer in Mexico after it was stolen (At
> least that is what I read somewhere) By the way,
> the Les Paul that is the subject of this thread
> was sold at the same auction as the SG.

I think you're correct. Harrison gave the SG to a member of Badfinger
[can't remeber which member) who after he died, his wife supposedly
sold it at a garage sale. However, it seems that story wasn't true.
I'm glad to know it's back in the HArrison estate.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: terraplane ()
Date: February 20, 2007 10:57

Regarding the Cherry Red Les Paul. I read a Harrison interview and indeed Clapton used it on While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Harrison confirmed this in the interview. Clapton gave it to Harrison. Some years later it was stolen. Harrison got a communication from some guy in Mexico who traded it back to Harrison for a new Les Paul.

As regards the Gibson SG. I think George got that originally from John Lennon while recording Revolver. This stuck in my mind as I never really thought of John Lennon as a guitarist so I was surprised he had an SG while George didn't. Having said that, I think it was John who put George onto Rickenbackers while they were in Hamburg. It was in Hamburg that they first saw Fender strats as well. George saw one in a shop and went back the next day to buy it but it was sold. That night he saw Rory Storm (or the guitarist from his band playing it.

I had also heard the story about him giving a guitar to the guitarist from Badfinger (Peter Ham?) who later committed suicide. I can't recall if this was the Gibsn SG or not.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: liddas ()
Date: February 20, 2007 11:21

Sorry if I jump in this with a slightly OT query, but what scale of strings did those early LPs came with?

And in the LP / stones era, what scale of strings did Keith and MT use on their LPs?

C

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: February 20, 2007 18:47

just nudging this fine thread back up a little ...
so i gather it's not that easy to discern whether or not Keith was using the LP
in those june 64 Chess sessions. what guitars did he have at that point? electric ones, i mean -
the Epiphone Casino of course; did he have the Harmony along on the tour?
anything else we know of that Keith might have had at those sessions?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2007-02-20 19:54 by with sssoul.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: ChrisM ()
Date: February 20, 2007 18:50

liddas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sorry if I jump in this with a slightly OT query,
> but what scale of strings did those early LPs came
> with?
>
> And in the LP / stones era, what scale of strings
> did Keith and MT use on their LPs?

I'm not sure about original 50's type strings but as I recall Mick used .010-046 gauge on his Les Pauls. Keith uses a slightly heavier gauge for open tuned guitars but for standard I don't remember.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: Glass Slide ()
Date: February 20, 2007 23:12

Looking at the title of the magazine article (and nudging the thread) it seems
to imply that Keith had the first Les Paul Cherry Sunburst in the Uk? For some reason, I seem to recall hearing that someplace else.

Is that accuarate? I know you could not get them in the UK at that time.

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: ChrisM ()
Date: February 21, 2007 05:20

Glass Slide Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Looking at the title of the magazine article (and
> nudging the thread) it seems
> to imply that Keith had the first Les Paul Cherry
> Sunburst in the Uk? For some reason, I seem to
> recall hearing that someplace else.
>
> Is that accuarate? I know you could not get them
> in the UK at that time.

That is the question the forthcoming article will hopefully answer!

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: cc ()
Date: February 21, 2007 07:40

ChrisM Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just listen to
> the tone of this guitar on Ya Yas versions of
> "Honky Tonk Women" and "Love In Vain" and

who's playing it, taylor or keith?

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: February 21, 2007 12:56

>> who's playing it <<

both of 'em: Keith on HTW, Mick T on Love in Vain

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: February 21, 2007 13:06

>> anything else we know of that Keith might have had at [the june 64 Chess] sessions? <<

i guess he might have had a pale blue Strat (see [www.iorr.org]) ...
i would so dearly love to hear any of the Guitar Connoisseurs' Opinions
on what guitars we hear on those Chess sessions! please please and thank you very much indeed!
(if there's one thing i've learned from the Rolling Stones, it's tenacity.)

or maybe an inside-out version of the question will be more fruitful:
what are the earliest tracks where we do definitely hear this Les Paul?

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: ChrisM ()
Date: February 21, 2007 21:58

I still haven't had a chance to listen to the Chicago sessions Ms Sssoul but even after that all I could tell you would be a best guess and in no way would be definitive. Still guitars have distictive voices so I'll prick up my ears and hear what I can hear and will let you know as soon as I do. Ta!

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: February 21, 2007 22:23

The les Paul was comepletely stripped in the mid-70's -the bigsby was taken off, new PAF's were put in, the electrics were renewed. The guitar ended up in the hands of a London collector who decided he could earn much more money if he brought it back in its "original" Keith-ear state, so he installed a new Bigsby and new (but vintage) PAF's. It was sold for $300.000.

About the Chess sessions: it's very, very hard to tell what guitar was used. keith has stated in an interview that when they first arrived in New York (June 1964) he, Brian and Andrew Loog Oldham went to Manny's to look for good guitars, and that's where he bought the Les Paul. If he used it on the Chess sessions: I really don't know. On some songs (Down in the Bottom, Down the Road Apiece, If You need Me) my ears direct me more towards the dry sound of the Casino with P90's, but on Around & Around and 2120 I think he plays the Les Paul.

Mathijs

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: with sssoul ()
Date: February 22, 2007 01:05

>> even after that all I could tell you would be a best guess and in no way would be definitive <<

i am cognizant! and will be real grateful, whenever you can.

>> On some songs (Down in the Bottom, Down the Road Apiece, If You need Me)
my ears direct me more towards the dry sound of the Casino with P90's,
but on Around & Around and 2120 I think he plays the Les Paul. <<

very cool - thank you thank you Mathijs! i will study those tracks some more.
actually i may have the sound of Down the Road Apiece tattooed permanently on my psyche -
i love that track! no wonder Keith held onto that Epiphone Casino for a good long time. :E
"swing on, gentlemen - you are sounding most well if i may say so."

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: open-g ()
Date: February 22, 2007 02:21

ChrisM Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> liddas Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Sorry if I jump in this with a slightly OT
> query,
> > but what scale of strings did those early LPs
> came
> > with?
> >
> > And in the LP / stones era, what scale of
> strings
> > did Keith and MT use on their LPs?
>
> I'm not sure about original 50's type strings but
> as I recall Mick used .010-046 gauge on his Les
> Pauls. Keith uses a slightly heavier gauge for
> open tuned guitars but for standard I don't
> remember.


I think they had real heavy wires in the '50, thats what Ernie Ball says.
He was the first to introduce those .010-046 sets.

"THE STRING IS THE THING - THE GAUGE IS THE RAGE

It was the store's customers who were responsible for EB taking the step that carried his name and his business - far beyond the city limits of Tarzana. He noticed that beginning students were having difficulty pressing down the third string of the Fender #100 medium gauge set, which were the most popular electric strings of the day. "The third string was a 29 gauge, like a giant cable, and the poor kids were getting finger blisters."
IF YOU DON'T DO IT . . .

"I called my Fender sales rep, Tom Walker, and asked him to tell Leo Fender about the problem. Tom reported back that Leo wouldn't allow lighter gauge strings on his guitars because they caused string buzz, and he wasn't about to re-engineer his neck tension rods. I thought, "OK, Leo; If you won't do it, then I will! I talked a string manufacturer into making me some custom medium gauge sets with a 24 third string instead of a 29."

In the early 60s rock and roll guitar was exploding. More and more people came in to buy a set of guitar strings, throwing away the sixth string, and then buying a banjo first string. This caused every string in the set to be much thinner. Ern thought there should be a rock & roll string set packaged with these lighter gauges. "Again, I called Tom Walker to explain my idea; and again, he reported back that Leo Fender wouldn't discuss it. Then I contacted the people at the Gibson guitar company and tried to talk them into making Rock & Roll strings, but they thought it was a lousy idea. OK; if you guys won't do it, then I really will! And that's how I came up with the first set of Slinky strings (Regular 10 - 46). At first they were only sold locally in ly in my retail shop."

"It occurred to me that a guitarist might want a set of strings in any combination of gauges of his choosing, so I called the string maker again and asked for more strings, but this time I ordered plain strings, all gauges 8 through 24, and all even-numbered wound strings 18 through 58. I built a storage rack out of plywood and pieces of electrical conduit. This fit conveniently next to the workbench behind the counter. When I was busy with customers I would invite a string buyer to use the workbench behind the counter and experiment on his own. Soon scores of guitar players were tinkering around with the Custom Gauge string rack. They loved it!"

The legendary Merle Travis and the Ventures were regular store customers. They took the strings along on their tours, and when asked what kind they used, they would reply, "Ernie Ball." Mail orders started coming in, first from out-of-town guitarists and later from other stores. "We weren't a string company yet." Ernie says, "We were just a little store that had some strings people wanted to buy."

The demand for EB's Slinky strings continued to grow and in 1967 he sold the retail store and moved the string business to Newport Beach. "I wanted to change my lifestyle and work shorter days, learn to surf, learn to fly a plane, and grow a beard." With his staff of only two employees, he found himself doing everything from laying out artwork to packaging string sets. His sons, Sterling, David, and Sherwood, helped out in the warehouse after school.


[www.ernieball.com]

Re: The Keith/Mick Sunburst Les Paul
Posted by: ChrisM ()
Date: February 22, 2007 07:03

Mathijs Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The les Paul was comepletely stripped in the
> mid-70's -the bigsby was taken off, new PAF's were
> put in, the electrics were renewed. The guitar
> ended up in the hands of a London collector who
> decided he could earn much more money if he
> brought it back in its "original" Keith-ear state,
> so he installed a new Bigsby and new (but vintage)
> PAF's. It was sold for $300.000.

Holy crap! The guitar was raped and its soul, the PAFs, were removed! It will never sound the same as it did even with replacement PAFs. I feel like weeping!

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