Les Paul's 1954 Custom: The One & Only Original by Michael Molenda, Guitar Player. More on Les Paul, and his partnership with Mary Ford, at Gibson.com. YouTube: How High The Moon (1951). [more inside]
As American men went off to war during World War II, women stepped in to fill the jobs they left behind, keeping the factories and shipyards running, and the economy humming. While most were praised for their patriotism, one unheralded group of women worked in the shadows building Gibson guitars. The maker of the famous instrument never confirmed that women crafted its guitars during the war, and in an official company history, even reported it stopped producing instruments for those years. But now the time has come to shed some new historical light on the Kalamazoo Gals. [more inside]
During a raid on the Gibson Guitar factory, a million dollars worth of Madagascar ebony and rosewood were seized under the 100-year-old Lacey Act which protects endangered species. But the Lacey Act is retroactive and also covers the trade in vintage instruments, which means owners can be asked to account for every wooden part of their guitars when re-entering the U.S.
Les Paul, musician, pioneer of multitrack recording, and creator of one of the most successful and recognizable guitars in history, passed at the age of 94. [more inside]
Fried Gibson. I've always thought you were safe in a house from lightning storms as long as you were off the land-line or computer. A Mississippi man's Gibson Les Paul got positively roasted while sitting in his home, in its case, leaning against a wall. That's a powerful bolt. Lots of gory photos here and in the auction linked above including a nice shot of some of the parts that exploded off of the guitar, some shooting like bullets through the case. Awesome! And it still held quite a bit of its value. Via [more inside]
The Maestro FZ-1 Fuzztone was one of the first stomp boxes a guitar player could use. Released in 1962 by Gibson, sales didn't take off until a British band used it in the introduction to one of their songs in 1965. But if it weren't for a Marty Robbins song and engineer Glen Snoddy, the pedal might have never been invented and country music wouldn't have been the same. [more inside]