- October 24, 2018
When it comes to guitars, few are more legendary than the Gibson Les Paul.
It’s a guitar steeped in the annals of music history — particularly of the rock variety — and has been played by some of the greatest guitarists in music history.
Musicians such as Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, KISS’ Ace Frehley, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Guns N’ Roses’ Slash are among some of the most notable names to wield the instrument, famous for its full-bodied sound.
The guitar can be bought at just about any music store, but there is one that has popped up in Winter Park that goes beyond the usual, everyday Les Paul — this one was owned by, played by and signed by Les Paul himself.
“That was Les Paul’s guitar that he used to play at Iridium every Monday night — one of the many, because he normally played customs, but this one is a Supreme,” said Nicholas Sellitto, CEO of the Orlando-based Modern Music Movement and the guitar’s seller. “This happens to be a guitar he used in an exhibition in Europe, because that’s where the guitar was set for.”
Sellitto placed the 2004 Gibson Les Paul Supreme for sale a few weeks ago on Facebook’s marketplace at the asking price of $25,000.
So far, he has had no buyers.
Les Paul — the musician — was a pioneer as both a guitar player and inventor. Although the self-taught guitar prodigy first became famous for his jazz-influenced playing in the 1950s, Paul is most-noted for his influential role in rock ’n’ roll as the creator of the solid-body electric guitar. He also was vital in helping develop modern recording techniques — such as studio multitracking and electronic echo.
According to a biography published by Rolling Stone Magazine, Paul developed the first prototype for his famous Les Paul, which he called the “Log,” in 1941 — 11 years before the first Gibson Les Paul was put out into the market.
So, how does a guitar owned by its legendary namesake end up inWinter Park? Well, the answer starts with a friend of Sellitto.
“That particular guitar was gifted to my partner by the executive marketing director of Gibson Guitars for us helping set up the Gibson Showroom in downtown Orlando … about eight to 10 years ago,” Sellitto said. “This is one of the guitars he played in the last two years of his life at some gigs.”
Sellitto has everything there to authenticate the guitar’s ownership and signature — which includes a photo of Paul holding the guitar before his death in 2009.
In terms of the instrument itself, this model of Les Paul’s namesake is incredibly clean, with an alpine white finish and gold accents. But the most important physical aspect of the guitar comes in the form of Les Paul’s signature.
For those gear heads who enjoy specifics: The guitar features a solid body made up of a maple top and back, with a chambered mahogany body core. The neck and headstock are constructed out of a single-piece of carved mahogany. The guitar includes the 490R and 498T humbucker pick-ups, a three-way selector switch, and volume and tone controls.
When considering the guitar’s features — and that it was also played and signed by a music icon — the asking price is more than fair, Sellitto said.
“Honestly, I think in 10 years, this will probably be worth $50,000,” Sellitto said. “It’s not like Les Paul is still alive, you can’t just go and get one of the guitars that he owned. That’s just not how collectible things work.”
But Sellitto also said although he will keep it on Marketplace, he is also looking to bigger buyers as well — including Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay, who is an avid guitar collector. Sellitto said he already had been in contact with the Irsay camp.
“I have no doubt the thing well sell — it’s a no-brainer that it will,” Sellitto said. “I’m confident that Irsay will pick it up, because I think it would be something that he’d be interested in, because it’s the right price.”