Rare Guitars: Gary Gand’s 1959 Les Paul Custom

Gary snagged this beauty for $250, before the days of the ‘vintage’ guitar market.

Gary Gand Red 1959 Les Paul Custom (Body)
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How beautiful is this red 1959 Les Paul Custom? If you’re thinking: “That’s not the right colour for a Les Paul,” that’s exactly what a 14-year-old Gary Gand thought when a seller described this guitar to him over the phone. This was back when classified ads for guitars simply read ‘Fender guitar’ or ‘Gibson for sale’, so you had to ring sellers for more information.

Soon after the call, the seller brought the guitar over and, lo and behold, it was this red three-pickup Les Paul Custom. Gary snapped it up for $250, paid over two instalments. He  then spent the ensuing years learning everything he could about the unique instrument. “I know they made about a dozen of these,” he tells us in our interview. “Six were for a dealer in Sweden who wanted something different. Gibson made the first six, so why not make a few more?”

The guitar itself remains largely as it was the day Gary got it. Original gold Grover tuners, three PAF pickups and frets that are worn nearly flat. As for its unique colour, Gary thinks it could be attributed to mandolinist Jethro Burns of the country music duo Homer & Jethro. More on that in our interview, here.

Check out this 1959 Les Paul Custom here:

Check out more of Gary Gand’s collection here.


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