The Dirty Burst has just turned up after 62 years lost in the wild. What would you do when an undiscovered Gibson Burst Les Paul Standard turns up in your father’s wardrobe and he asks you to look after it? Well, it has just happened, and the owner was a little shocked to find out what the guitar was actually worth!
Where has the Dirty Burst been all these years?
Here in the UK, it is now very unusual to find any undocumented original Gibson Les Paul Burst Standards from 1958, 1959 or 1960. Especially, as I would imagine, not many of them left the USA. The ones that did are often associated with well-known artists like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page or Peter Green. These have all been well-documented and in circulation for many years.
Bought for £50
One has just popped up out of nowhere. Literally, walked in off the street into a UK guitar dealer, causing quite a stir amongst Burst collectors. The Gibson Les Paul Standard in question is a rare 1960 model with serial number 00252, and was purchased in 1967. Its original owner paid £50 for it after going to see Eric Clapton play one at the Marquee Club. He played it until the early 1970s and then put it in his wardrobe for safe keeping.
They will have to add it to the Beauty Of The Burst book for the next revision. It is a great book, and if you like vintage Gibson Les Paul Standards from the golden years, then you need to grab a copy.
The guitar was only discovered recently, as the owner wanted his daughter to look after it for him because he was moving house and he wanted it kept safe during the move. She was worried it was worth around £5000, after doing some basic research online.
When she contacted ATB Guitars and bought it on to them, they confirmed it was an original Gibson 1960 Burst Les Paul and worth somewhere in the region of six figures. Needless to say she was pretty shocked and so was her father.
The Holy Grail
It has been nicknamed the Dirty Burst as it arrived in a sorry state, and was covered in dirt. The guitar had a few modifications, including Bigsby vibrato, a switch added to the un-mounted pickguard and finally, the bridge posts have been sheared off. Currently, the bridge is resting on some wedged in pieces of metal.
However, there are no breaks or major damage to the guitar structurally. Take into consideration that the Greeny Les Paul owned currently by Kirk Hammett, has had a headstock break or two in its lifetime. So this 1960 Dirty Burst a pretty great discovery. It also comes in its original ‘Cali Girl’ Gibson hard case, which is worth a small fortune itself.
You can hear the full story in the ATB Guitars video below, and it is well worth a watch. It appears the guitar has already sold, which does not surprise me, as ATB Guitars is based in Cheltenham and took it to the Bristol Guitar Show. Joe Bonamassa was playing gigs in the UK at the time. He invited ATB Guitars to bring it along to his London gig at the Albert Hall. And so you know how that turned out.
Expect to see a Gibson Custom Shop Joe Bonamassa Dirty Burst limited release sometime in the future.
Gibson Les Paul Standard
We can’t all drop six figures on a single vintage Les Paul Standard like Joe Bonamassa. Thankfully, you can buy a Gibson USA or Gibson Custom Shop model for a fraction of that price. Below are some examples of what you can buy. Many of them are based on the Holy Grail vintage years and so you can at least have one that looks the part. It will more than likely sound just as good as a vintage one.