The Collectors Choice #1 1959 Les Paul Standard
The Gibson Custom “Collectors Choice” series cracks open the greatest vaults of vintage instruments in the world, allowing players the opportunity to own replicas of one-of-a-kind historic guitars. We’ve contacted some of the world’s most prominent collectors of rare instruments and convinced them to share their greatest prizes in this unique and unprecedented program. In embarking on this series of limited-run “Collector’s Choice” instruments, Gibson Custom is starting with one of the most desirable artist guitars of all time: the legendary Les Paul once owned by Gary Moore, and now a treasured part of the Melvyn Franks collection.
While any 1958-’60 Les Paul Standard is a rare and desirable guitar today, those played by major artists are even more highly prized. Given its history, the 1959 Les Paul Standard formerly owned by Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore—and represented in every minutiae by the Collector’s Choice #1: 1959 Les Paul Standard—is, for many players and collectors, the Holy Grail of Les Pauls. Not only is it a stunning original example with a highly figured top and a beautiful, faded “unburst” finish, it’s a guitar with a fascinating configuration, with the wiring and orientation of the neck pickup reversed to create a unique “out of phase” middle position tone. Moore purchased the guitar in the mid-’70s and played it on recordings with Thin Lizzy, including “Still in Love with You” and “Waiting for an Alibi,” and afterward, as a solo artist, before retiring the ’59 Les Paul and eventually selling it to British-born guitar collector Melvyn Franks in 2006.