Thursday, April 29, 2010

Duane Allman's '57 Goldtop Les Paul

I just came across this very cool site about a '57 Goldtop Les Paul, serial number 7 3312.

Originally owned by Duane Allman who played it on a number of recordings including Statesboro Blues and Layla, Allman swapped this Goldtop for a '59 'plain-top' sunburst Les Paul model in 1970.

The guitar resurfaced in 1977 when it was traded in at a music store, stripped of its goldtop to a laquered natural finish. 

It was purchased by Scot Lamar and Peter Young who saw the instrument's intrinsic value, although the fact that the guitar was owned by Duane Allman apparently did not factor into the music store's asking price!  I'm guessing they would have pretty much paid the standard going rate for late '50s goldtop Les Pauls at the time, which would probably have been anywhere upwards of $3000 or even much less, considering its delapidated condition replete with tooth marks on the headstock where it was chewed on by a previous owner's puppy!

Rightfully, the guitar was restored back to its former golden glory by Gibson finish guru Tom Murphy in the late 90's.

One of the current owners, Mike Boulware, has this to say about the instrument and its link to Duane Allman:   

"I think the reason is that, like many great players, he, as a man, came through stronger than what instrument he played, with one notable distinction... when he played slide on the Gold Top, the universe held it's breath to listen."

Apparently the owners are now selling the Duane Allman Goldtop. The asking price? A cool $1.1 million. 

Check out a detailed history of this amazing axe here:  http://www.duaneallmansgoldtop.com/

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