Every guitar has a story and this 1955 Les Paul Goldtop has an interesting one that’s a lost guitar homecoming story. Some of the best guitar stories to me are when a guitar, that’s ripped away from its owner, is reunited with them despite all hope being lost it would ever return.
This story comes to us from Guitarist/Bassist Paul Drennan, a brilliant musician and cool guy who often plays with Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Pat Travers and George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob).
Paul has been on the guitar safari and guitar collecting scene since he was a 14 year old kid in the late ‘60s and has quite a collection, including an early ‘60s Gibson ES-335 I just heard about recently. Paul also deals in vintage hot rods when he’s not rockin on stage and you visit him by clicking here.
Paul’s 55 Les Paul guitar story story starts with a 14 year old kid in 1969 searching the Orlando Sentinel for guitars for sale, hoping to spot a deal. Yes, he still had the actual newspaper advertisement.
The ad read Gibson Les Paul and Amplifier, $200. Of course in 1969, that was a lot of money, especially for a 14 year old kid (that’s $1,400 in 2019 dollars). But even as young kid, Paul knew a hot guitar deal when he saw one. More importantly, that kid just had to have that 1955 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop! I totally get it!
At that time, this Les Paul was really just a used guitar, slightly cheaper than a new Les Paul (and with P-90 pickups) but this deal also included and amp.
Today, this beautiful vintage electric guitar is truly in a class of unrivaled craftsmanship from a long ago era and possibly the finest era at Gibson Guitars.
A stickler for the details, Paul even wrote a letter to Gibson to verify the date of manufacture and they actually wrote him back in this letter. Gibson verified the likely date of manufacture as 1955.
The story then takes a turn about 10 years later when Paul had the fever for a 1959 Fender Stratocaster and actually traded this ‘55 Les Paul to a friend, Producer & Guitarist Tony Battaglia. (Sidenote: I met Tony in the early 90s when I was Legal Counsel for his partner Tim Coons, Producer of the Backstreet Boys).
It didn’t take Paul long to realize he had made a serious mistake parting ways with his beloved ‘55 Les Paul.
Whenever Paul would run into Tony, he would always ask him if he could get back his Les Paul and the answer was always the same - NO!
Then, about 30 years later something magical happened that brought this beautiful all gold ‘55 Les Paul home to Paul.
This ‘55 is one those rare all gold with gold back instead of the more typical dark back on most Les Paul Goldtops of that era.
I don’t want to give away the story so watch the video to hear Paul tell the story in his own words.
It’s a little noisy because we’re at a guitar show but it’s been processed to minimize it. (watch time is 4:58)
Remember, if you have a cool guitar story with pics, message us and we’ll get in touch with you to feature your guitar story.
If you like ‘50s Les Pauls (Lesters) check out our article on a 1958 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty brokered by me through Winter Park Vintage Guitars.
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