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  1. #1

    How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Just curious - obviously, a certain number were manufactured between '58 and '60 - are they mostly all 'known' or are a sizeable number still missing, still waiting to be unearthed? (I've checked my attic/loft and was sorely disappointed )

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    The WAG-estimate is that roughly half of all Bursts are known, leaving about 700 unaccounted for or still out there waiting to be discovered.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member stephan_l's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    From "Burst Serial". I guess, if Julio becomes aware of a "new" one, it will be listed.
    But who knows how many old blues musicians are out there, never heard of the net, playing the shit out of an "unknown" burst every evening. I love these thoughts



  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    There are also bursts owned by people who don't wish to have their serial number displayed on the internet, or have anyone but their closest friends made aware of their existence... I know of at least 4 that fit into that category and I'm sure there are other members who know of similar burst owners.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Ryan Givhan's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    i am the only guitarist in my family. and i keep hoping that a relative will find an old gibby in an attic one day and just give it to me because they dont know anyone else that will use it. lol. far fetched i know, but it would be amazing.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Greco's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    A fair few were probably destroyed: Fire, earthquake, flood, etc. ...or modded into oblivion: the type of "luthier" that modded bad coconuts for example.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member Mars Hall's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Baron View Post
    There are also bursts owned by people who don't wish to have their serial number displayed on the internet, or have anyone but their closest friends made aware of their existence... I know of at least 4 that fit into that category and I'm sure there are other members who know of similar burst owners.
    If I had one, I'd tell everyone it's a Murphy R9.
    "What's that man movin' cross the stage?
    It looks a lot like the one used by Jimmy Page..." Paul McCartney

  8. #8

    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greco View Post
    A fair few were probably destroyed: Fire, earthquake, flood, etc. ...or modded into oblivion: the type of "luthier" that modded bad coconuts for example.

    Like your avatar?! Blimey, what's the story behind that Custom?

    I know of one that was converted to double cutaway - I believe it was restored back to single cut though....

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member mingus's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Givhan View Post
    i am the only guitarist in my family. and i keep hoping that a relative will find an old gibby in an attic one day and just give it to me because they dont know anyone else that will use it. lol. far fetched i know, but it would be amazing.
    What's amazing is that Ganzler still thinks that one day he'll eat a bowl of fruit and shit a fruit salad!

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyB View Post
    Like your avatar?! Blimey, what's the story behind that Custom?

    I know of one that was converted to double cutaway - I believe it was restored back to single cut though....
    The infamous double-cutaway burst is the one referred to as "Bad Coconuts".
    .

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us."

    - Bill Watterson, creator of the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes".

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member janalex's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Are all the Ziff bursts accounted for?
    The Rockin' Doc

  11. #11

    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by mingus View Post
    What's amazing is that Ganzler still thinks that one day he'll eat a bowl of fruit and shit a fruit salad!



    The infamous double-cutaway burst is the one referred to as "Bad Coconuts".

    Yeah - I know the Luthier who did it too - and put it back

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member 585960's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    lemme guess, Mark Pelkey?

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member GeetarGoul's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    I would guess that at least 25% are lost to fire/earthquake/tornado/huhrricanes etc. What do you guys guess?

  14. #14
    Burst Detective! zorglub!'s Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    If we take the ones in burstserial as an example, and specifically the ones from '59 (as '58 and '60 shipping totals include goldtops and SGs) we can see 52% of them accounted for. I usually wonder where are the rest and how I could gain access to them.

    From a number of conversations along the years with many Burst owners I have observed that some of the non-dealers big names do not like to share info on some of their most beloved guitars. So there you have a significant number of non-public Bursts (or at least not to be included in any registry).

    Then there are some markets, like Europe or Japan, with Bursts owners who might not be as involved into the Vintage market as the ones in America. Or specific countries where Vintage is a small market with a few number of people involved. Even countries where their culture makes them be quite privvy about expensive items. All of them add up to a number of guitars that have not been circulated, and probably won't be for quite some time.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Baron View Post
    There are also bursts owned by people who don't wish to have their serial number displayed on the internet, or have anyone but their closest friends made aware of their existence... I know of at least 4 that fit into that category and I'm sure there are other members who know of similar burst owners.
    Exactly! I also know of several that are "secret" and the owners wish them to be this way.
    So, when is a Burst "accounted for"? When one or more people know of its existence, or the general public?

    I think most have been accounted for.
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  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by janalex View Post
    Are all the Ziff bursts accounted for?
    I think if someone as astute as Dirk owns one [or more], he knows it, and therefore, it is accounted for.


    Seriously, how is it possible for a serious Burst collector to have a Burst and it not be considerd as "accounted for"?
    Which gets back to my question: Just exactly when is a Burst considered "accounted for"?
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  17. #17

    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    I think what the original question of "accounted for" pertains to a method of cataloging them in some way & comparing them to shipping totals (if shipping totals exist). What we want to know is, of how many shipped, what number is accounted for & acknowleged as a valuable 'Burst by their owners?

  18. #18

    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greco View Post
    A fair few were probably destroyed: Fire, earthquake, flood, etc. ...or modded into oblivion: the type of "luthier" that modded bad coconuts for example.
    Man you are being nice calling that man a luthier.....

  19. #19

    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by TW59 View Post
    I think if someone as astute as Dirk owns one [or more], he knows it, and therefore, it is accounted for.


    Seriously, how is it possible for a serious Burst collector to have a Burst and it not be considerd as "accounted for"?
    Which gets back to my question: Just exactly when is a Burst considered "accounted for"?
    There are 31 of Dirks 'Bursts pictured in BOTB. Rumors have it that he owns around 200, would seems crazy but considering his wealth is very plausable. If this is the case, that's another 169 that are actually accounted for, however, for those people outside of Dirks circle, would fall into the "unnccounted for" category.

    Julio's list accounts for those with known serial numbers, but there are a lot of known Bursts for which the serial numbers are unknown and so they aren't included in the percentage stats. ie Jimmy Page's burst, Eddie Van Halen's burst, Jeff Becks renecked Burst, etc.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member Beano Geno's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    IMHO, the vast majority of bursts, still in existence, have been discovered. By that, I mean that I believe the number of bursts sitting completely unknown in somebodies dead grandpa's attic or old warehouse/storeroom, etc. is very, very small. Not everybody cares to make their burst ownership known to the general public or internet forum groups.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member janalex's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    There are 31 of Dirks 'Bursts pictured in BOTB. Rumors have it that he owns around 200, would seems crazy but considering his wealth is very plausable. If this is the case, that's another 169 that are actually accounted for, however, for those people outside of Dirks circle, would fall into the "unnccounted for" category.

    This was what I was asking. It seems that Ziff may own a large portion of the bursts that are kept outside of public view.
    The Rockin' Doc

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member Biggles58's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by TW59 View Post
    Which gets back to my question: Just exactly when is a Burst considered "accounted for"?
    I think perhaps how many Bursts are "unknown to the general guitar playing public" or something similar was what the poster meant to express but your point is taken Tom. Now go and play one of Bursts man!

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Electric Lloyd View Post
    I think what the original question of "accounted for" pertains to a method of cataloging them in some way & comparing them to shipping totals (if shipping totals exist). What we want to know is, of how many shipped, what number is accounted for & acknowleged as a valuable 'Burst by their owners?
    And here you present two different scenarios where they are considered "accounted for".

    The owners I know, who wish to remain anonymous, certainly know that they own valuable Bursts. But these guitars do not show up in "lists".
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  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by DANELECTRO View Post
    There are 31 of Dirks 'Bursts pictured in BOTB. Rumors have it that he owns around 200, would seems crazy but considering his wealth is very plausable. If this is the case, that's another 169 that are actually accounted for, however, for those people outside of Dirks circle, would fall into the "unnccounted for" category.
    Here again, an asumption is made, and I feel it is far from accurate.
    Forget trying to guess how many he has. Just take into account that BOTB is an old book, and that many Bursts Dirk has are in lists. As an example, Julio's list does not name the owners. Nor does BOTB get updated, as some guitars change hands.
    So, many other Bursts that Dirk has are "accounted for", besides the ones he owned that were included in BOTB.
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  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by janalex View Post
    There are 31 of Dirks 'Bursts pictured in BOTB. Rumors have it that he owns around 200, would seems crazy but considering his wealth is very plausable. If this is the case, that's another 169 that are actually accounted for, however, for those people outside of Dirks circle, would fall into the "unnccounted for" category.

    This was what I was asking. It seems that Ziff may own a large portion of the bursts that are kept outside of public view.
    And speculating what that number is is merely that .... speculation.
    And as I just wrote, Dirk has added a Bursts that are already known. Just because he does not inform the world exactly which ones he has, does not mean they are unaccounted for.
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  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggles58 View Post
    I think perhaps how many Bursts are "unknown to the general guitar playing public" or something similar was what the poster meant to express but your point is taken Tom. Now go and play one of Bursts man!
    Check out the Oldenburg show thread, plus this week's Burst Pic thread when I post it soon.
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  27. #27

    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    I guess it could be taken as a nonsensical question - not being well up on these matters, and considering how relatively few were made, I thought there may have been some serious attempt to log them all, that's all...but then again, I guess that infringes on matters of privacy etc...

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    I think Julio's site, Burst Serial, is the most serious attempt to log them all. And, it still grows.
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  29. #29

    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    So maybe the question is:

    How can we encourage burst owners to submit pics and serial numbers in a way that protects their privacy?

  30. #30
    bigsby'd
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by treeofpain View Post
    So maybe the question is:

    How can we encourage burst owners to submit pics and serial numbers in a way that protects their privacy?
    I don't post/list serial #s of my guitars, and it has nothing to do with my privacy.

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by treeofpain View Post
    So maybe the question is:

    How can we encourage burst owners to submit pics and serial numbers in a way that protects their privacy?
    By convincing them that there is a benefit to them, for doing this.
    And that is not always easy.
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  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member cool hand luc's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Givhan View Post
    i am the only guitarist in my family. and i keep hoping that a relative will find an old gibby in an attic one day and just give it to me because they dont know anyone else that will use it. lol. far fetched i know, but it would be amazing.
    When I was younger I was in a friends guitar shop and he was stringing up an early 60s ES-335. I played it and it was cool. Big tight flat wound jazz strings so the experience playing it wasn't "great". But they had bought it for their son brand new and he went off to war in the 60s for uncle sam to Vietnam. Their son didn't make it back but instead of selling his stuff they kept it all. His ES-335 had been under the bed for 30 years at the point I saw it. Their plans were for it to go back under the bed after it had been checked out and restrung.

    Sometimes guitars are still found in the attic or under the bed. and that one will one day surface and be a real player for someone.
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  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member Joe Ganzler's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by cool hand luc View Post
    When I was younger I was in a friends guitar shop and he was stringing up an early 60s ES-335. I played it and it was cool. Big tight flat wound jazz strings so the experience playing it wasn't "great". But they had bought it for their son brand new and he went off to war in the 60s for uncle sam to Vietnam. Their son didn't make it back but instead of selling his stuff they kept it all. His ES-335 had been under the bed for 30 years at the point I saw it. Their plans were for it to go back under the bed after it had been checked out and restrung.

    Sometimes guitars are still found in the attic or under the bed. and that one will one day surface and be a real player for someone.
    No offense, but if I had a NICKEL for EVERY time I've heard THAT story vis a vis a vintage guitar or a Corvette, I'd have a BIG pile of nickels...
    "If you're lucky enough to live at the beach, then you're lucky enough..."

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member kharrison's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    There is a fellow player/collector that owns a burst in the same neighborhood. He started collecting guitars and amps a long time ago and stays under the radar. I get a kick out of it everytime I pass by his house knowing a burst is in there and just down the street from me. I don't think he even knows about the LPF. He keeps a very low profile and does not talk about his amps and guitars. I've tried to get him to surface.
    Last edited by kharrison; 11-10-09 at 06:07 PM.

  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member cool hand luc's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Ganzler View Post
    No offense, but if I had a NICKEL for EVERY time I've heard THAT story vis a vis a vintage guitar or a Corvette, I'd have a BIG pile of nickels...
    Whether or not the story is true from the owner (who was in his 60s and could have been blowing smoke though he wasn't trying to sell the guitar) I did indeed hold an early 60s ES-335 in my hands that day. With your experience I have no doubt that you have heard thousands of fake stories to try and sell an item. I personally have nothing to gain on telling the story. I'm not selling the guitar nor do I own it.
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  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    I'm sure that there was no offense meant, Luc.

    It's just that sometimes it seems like every single soldier that lost their life in Vietnam, left behind a valuable '50s/'60s Gibson or Fender guitar (or Corvette). While some of these stories have been proven to be true, it does sound like a meme or cliché most times.

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member Joe Ganzler's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.WillieVK View Post
    I'm sure that there was no offense meant, Luc.

    It's just that sometimes it seems like every single soldier that lost their life in Vietnam, left behind a valuable '50s/'60s Gibson or Fender guitar (or Corvette). While some of these stories have been proven to be true, it does sound like a meme or cliché most times.
    Yes, my point exactly. I'm not kidding when I say that not ONE month passes by, since I was prolly 25 years old, that SOMEone (who knows/finds out I'm into vintage guitars and Corvettes) hasn't pulled me aside, sober-faced, to tell me about a (fill in the blank with vintage item of interest) that their (fill in the blank with appropriate "person of interest" usually once or twice "removed", so you can't REALLY confirm/repute the story RIGHT NOW) knows about whose son JUST bought (it's ALWAYS "two weeks before"!) said vintage item, left for Vietnam, and never came back...

    Just last month one of the carpenters that was working next door saw me carrying out a guitar case to my car, and I got to hear the story one more time...
    "If you're lucky enough to live at the beach, then you're lucky enough..."

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Ganzler View Post

    Just last month one of the carpenters that was working next door saw me carrying out a guitar case to my car, and I got to hear the story one more time...
    And of course you said "So hook me up!", right Joe?

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    I think if i had bought one 20 years ago when I could almost afford one, I doubt if I would tell too many folks. I have a few guitars that never leave the house for gigs cause of their value. If I had a Burst I doubt if I'd let very many people know about it. Even though I have an alarm system and dogs, I wouldn't feel comfortable with people knowing what I have in my home.

  40. #40
    bharat.k
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    Re: How many Bursts are not accounted for?

    It's easy to forget that these things weren't always as sought after as today.
    Whilst working in a guitar shop years ago, I came across two lots of parents who had lost a son to war and years later were selling their home and only just managing to let their son's possessions go. The guitars in question were ok, but not bursts or anything, and just for the record, it's true that my mother gave away a Bugatti in the 60's but back then it was just a broken down old car her father had left in the way.

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