Introducing… Keith!

Had a gut feeling that I would be calling this Gibson 1980 Les Paul Custom “Keith,” but I knew for sure once I got my hands on him.

He’s alpine white but aged to a cream… Well, actually, he’s almost lemon yellow in parts, and alpine white only on his back.

Which I kinda like, but it does make him look jaundiced.

Which goes with the Keith Richards thing, because if Keith Richards doesn’t have liver failure then science needs to be studying him to find out why the Hell not, all things considered.

The yellowing isn’t nearly as obvious in this pic, as my cell phone camera is crap and so is the light:


But anyway, love the wear patterns on the pickups, love the belt buckle scratches on his back side, etc. etc.





Skinny fast neck, ideal for those of us who are a little under-endowed in the finger length department:


(And furthermore, note that is an ebony fingerboard, none of this Richlite composite bullshit like if I bought a brand new Les Paul Custom…).

Super low and easy action too, possibly even easier than the 175, which I didn’t think possible.

Love how the binding and lacquer (or whatever it is) overtop of the mother of pearl inlays in the head have turned golden to match the hardware over the years too, contrasted with the snowy shades of the fingerboard block inlays:


Further quirk: Keith is marked as a factory second. This many years on, who the Hell can tell what blemish originally landed him with that designation, but I call it extra character.


Funny little exchange this morning, whereby FedEx called me to see if I wanted to self-clear customs or what, so I printed put the forms and headed down to the customs office at the Vancouver airport.

Agent: So, what was the value?
Me: Three grand US.
Agent: Exactly?
Me: Just under. Like, $2995 US? I don’t know what that is in Canadian this week.
Agent (astonished): $2995 for a *used* guitar?
Me: Yeah, it’s a 1980 Les Paul.
Agent: Ohhhhhhh…. OK.

Yup. Them things don’t get any cheaper upon getting old. Hell, there’s a 1950s black beauty on eBay that someone wants $195,000 USD for. No joke. A little too rich for my blood on that black beauty too, I think 60K is probably more realistic unless some rock star owned it, and even then…

But anyway, paid my $393 in taxes (don’t get me started on why the fuck do I have to pay GST on an item that was made years before the GST ever existed…), got my papers stamped, drove over to FedEx and picked up the giant box that Keith came in and took him home and dug him out.

Restrung Keith with Super Slinkys, and he’s ready to go, already been banging out a little GnR on him (will have to learn some Stones stuff too, eventually).

I was also surprised in a good way to note that even though like any Les Paul of this age, Keith weighs about 10 pounds, that doesn’t feel as heavy as I thought it would. Granted, we’ll see how I feel after playing standing up for a while, but it was one thing I was a little worried about with a Les Paul, and i’m glad that doesn’t seem to be an issue. The weight seems to be just about right – not too heavy and onerous, but also not as light as my ESP which flops around too much.

So, I got my Les Paul. Pinky swear that I won’t be buying any further guitars for at least a year. No seriously. For real this time.