What Makes the '59 Gibson Les Paul so Great?

So, what does make the '59 - '60 Les Paul guitars so amazing?

Nothing, really. Like everything else back then, they were mediocre Fordist-era industrial products.

The guitars were not amazing but amazing music was made on them by musicians that, in some cases, (but often not) were themselves amazing. But the guitars? Nah.

People do what people have always done: confuse the reflection for the mirror itself.

These guitars were bought by kids and young men because that's what was on the used guitar market at the time that they could afford.

What's sociologically interesting is how the image of the Les Paul reflects the 'mojo' of the era. You get old, your hair falls out, you're tired and retired, and you'd like to reclaim some of that youthful mojo. If you're on a budget Gibson can scratch that itch with a novelty R9 (they can even beat it up a little bit if you want) or, if you're in the 1%, you can get the real thing for $250K+

What's the payoff for the 'real thing.' In the age of social media you can get what eluded you in youth: notoriety. Like Coke, there is really no magic supplement 'in' The Real Thing. It's an illusion. It feels good but ultimately leaves you dissatisfied.

Get my free postmodern shred technique book and go to infinity and beyond!