One of the most famous examples of a star’s use of the ’59 Les Paul, and the one that probably did the most to popularize the instrument in the mid 1960’s, was Keith Richards, who toured the United States with it in 1964.
As an article by Gibson points out, however, this guitar didn’t gain its tremendous value over night. And while models from 19 are also highly prized, they have not achieved the peak luster that the 1959 model has. According to Tony Bacon’s book Anyone who has taken an economics course knows that the scarcity of a product that is in high demand will dramatically increase its value. Everybody wants one, but far fewer people can actually have one. But as special as any Gibson Les Paul is, the ’59 Les Paul Standard is probably even a little bit more special.
The pickups were magnetically out of phase—this was the secret we’d all been searching for!
’“Dantzig agreed to incorporate magnetically out-of-phase pickups and reverse the neck pickup in the custom Hamer,” Ellis continued.
Well, one answer is: it is if there are people willing to pay that much.
The guitar in question was none other than Green’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, a legendary instrument that the Fleetwood Mac founder used to write and record many of the group’s seminal blues cuts, including “Black Magic Woman,” “Oh Well” and “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Prong Crown).”Green’s Les Paul was considered “magic” for its out-of-phase sound, a nasal tonality missing from the typical Les Paul repertoire.