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Jimmy Page And His Gibson Signature Les Paul Guitar

Updated on August 5, 2017
Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw started playing the guitar when he was 12 years old. He loves nothing more than to pick one up and pluck some strings.

Jimmy Page with one of his 1959 Les Paul Standard Sunburst guitars.
Jimmy Page with one of his 1959 Les Paul Standard Sunburst guitars. | Source

Jimmy Page and a Cherry Red Les Paul only used in Led Zeppelin's 1977 tour


Jimmy Page with his Gibson Les Paul "Black Beauty," which was stolen and recovered many years later

Jimmy Page And The Gibson Les Paul Electric Guitar

Among the most iconic of electric guitarists is none other than James Patrick Page. Most often, he's known more simply as Jimmy Page, and though he's been a part of many bands and untold numbers of sessions recordings for one hit wonders and bigtime bands who needed a hotter player for their song- we mostly associate the man with Led Zeppelin. Jimmy's also sometimes rather controversial. He's made a life, a super wealthy one, out of playing guitars. He's been a part of some of the most unforgettable music in the lexicon of the English speaking world. He'll never be forgotten for the music he's been a part of, and so there's little wonder one of the USA's most prestigious guitar manufacturers has produced for all a Jimmy Page version of the iconic Les Paul electric guitar.

Now when you're Jimmy Page, and your band, Led Zeppelin, was one of the most prolific rock and roll bands in sales and touring for at least ten years regarding the touring, and of all time regarding the sales of records; it should go without saying you have more than one Les Paul guitar. Jimmy has several, two of them the most well known, and they look alike. If you've seen the concert film "The Song Remains The Same," then you well know he's got other Les Paul guitars as well. Jimmy may well be the man who's done more for Gibson guitars and specifically done more towards the sales of Les Paul guitars than anyone else, including Les Paul himself.

So Jimmy page has two primary 1959 Les Paul standards, and then he had only he probably knows exactly how many others. Jimmy also played many Fender Telecasters, Fender Stratocasters, and of course the infamous Gibson SG double neck guitar. Despite all the many fine Gibson electrics he's owned, and still owns, the one he'd thought the very very best is one there's few photos or recordings of him with, the Les Paul "Black Beauty" which was stolen from him.

Now the "black beauty" guitar was altogether a different instrument, rather than having the standard two humbucker pickups the standard Les Paul's have, the black beauty guitar has three, but that's not all, it also has a whammy bar, a rather old fashioned one. The third pickup on the black beauty, the one in the middle, caused all sorts of pandemonium to take place regarding complicated frequency goings on. Such an instrument did things others could not do, and would not be capable of doing. Also, because of the third pickup, the switches on the guitar would be very different. The black beauty guitar was used as the primary instrument for the recording of the seminal Led Zeppelin II album.

The two 1959 Gibson Les Paul standards which Page has used as his primary guitars since the loss of his black beauty are BOTH reproduced by Gibson, they are respectively and simply known as "number one," and "number two." They are both modified guitars. Jimmy Page was and is a man who loved to tinker with things, and who could possibly say he did anything but make his Les Paul's better? Oh they may not be fore everyone's taste, but they're both to Jimmy's, and that's what matters. If you want to sound like Page, then there's two Gibson Les Paul guitars for you.

The Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page

A Review Of a Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page's number one Les Paul, and the Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page "number two"

For all intents and practical purposes the Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page number one, and number two models look nearly identical from a frontal photo. They are, of course 1959 Les Paul Standard replicas, they're only modified in exactly the same way as the two owned by Mr. Page. The number one guitar, the is an instrument Page refers to as his mistress. You can well imagine he's got a close relationship with it, and has probably spent more time with the thing than anyone could possibly calculate. The guitar came to Page from Joe Walsh, then of the James Gang, later of The Eagles. I've read Page was given the guitar as a gift, and I've read he bought it from Joe. Most notable of of the modifications on the number one Les Paul is it's neck has been shaved quite a lot; so much so it's thought odd the neck is even stable at all. It will be difficult for Gibson to produce and warranty the number one Les Paul replica owned by Jimmy.

From the photo above, if you look, you can see the two humbucker pickups do not match, the bridge pickup isn't original to the guitar, and neither is the other one. Such is the fate of electronics in non-stop use. Things break, and if you're on a tour somewhere you hardly have the time to acquire factory replacements, and you may want to try newer hardware anyway, such is the case here with Jimmy's number one Les Paul.

The number two 1959 Les Paul Jimmy page owns, his second favorite one, the replica for that guitar is in production and available for anyone to purchase, it also looks identical to the photo above, and is nearly identical to any Les Paul standard, but the electronics have been very customized to Jimmy Page's preference. Gibson consulted Steve Hoyland, who'd re-engineered both of Jimmy's two main Les Paul's to have push pull pots for individual pickup switching functions, and then there are two miniature push-pull DPDT switches have been mounted under the pickguard to provide additional universal switching functions. The guitar can function and operate exactly as a normal Les Paul standard, but has some much more complex features as well due to the wiring and switches. One can read of these complexities and such on an official Gibson page about this instrument here.

Gibson Les Paul Guitars

There are quite a lot of Les Paul guitars in various and sundry configurations on the market today, and from the years gone by. Anyone wanting a Les Paul wouldn't have too much trouble finding one, but when you get into the Les Paul standards and Les Paul custom, well, those instruments are expensive. They should be expensive, lots of fine material and hard work goes into the making of such things, and one should be serious about playing the guitar when they go to purchase a fine Les Paul. To be quite honest about it, the Les Paul Jimmy Page guitars are a bit outrageous regarding price - but the man is a legend, and the guitar is definitely above and beyond the pale, so to speak. Whether you like Jimmy Page so much, or not, and some do not; no one can say he didn't have an outrageously wonderful sound coming from his main two instruments. I think we should hear some of it. Thanks for reading.

Led Zeppelin "Dazed And Confused" Live


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