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  1. #1

    Glenn Frey's guitar

    I have another post that I just put up abour Les Paul Junior and Specials but I was wondering if anyone knew for sure what the black Les Paul is that Glenn Frey from the Eagles is often seen playing (it looks like a Junion that has a front pickup added) wikipedia has this written when you look up Les Pauls and go down to the Juniors area
    "Special-Special, 1964 , two pickups, on a flat maple top, mahogany back, and a skinny flat '60s neck, with dots. Loud with bass overtones. Glenn Frey's sound on, "No Fun Aloud", a 1982 solo album". I don't know what they are talking about, special-special" what is that? Any help would be appriciated.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyM View Post
    I have another post that I just put up abour Les Paul Junior and Specials but I was wondering if anyone knew for sure what the black Les Paul is that Glenn Frey from the Eagles is often seen playing (it looks like a Junion that has a front pickup added) wikipedia has this written when you look up Les Pauls and go down to the Juniors area
    "Special-Special, 1964 , two pickups, on a flat maple top, mahogany back, and a skinny flat '60s neck, with dots. Loud with bass overtones. Glenn Frey's sound on, "No Fun Aloud", a 1982 solo album". I don't know what they are talking about, special-special" what is that? Any help would be appriciated.
    Yeah Glenn has owned and played that black Gibson guitar for years. You can see him playing it on "Already Gone" back in 1974 on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VL6Fa...eature=related

    I have a couple of recent Eagles DVDs but the camera man doesn't zoom in close enough to identity it.

    Given the fact that Glenn's has owned and played that same guitar since at least the early 70's, I would wager it's a pre-1958 Gibson Les Paul Special. That model was not in the Gibson catalogs from the late 60's to the early 70's. IMO, It's got to be a vintage Les Paul Special.

    He must have a sentimental attachment to it, because he always pulls it out in concert. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that his buddy Bob Seger may have given the guitar to Glenn back in the 60's just when they were breaking out of Detroit. It would be interesting to do a search of Bob Seger live concert videos on "You Tube". You might come across a similar black Les Paul Special.


    It soun good.
    Last edited by marshall1987; 01-11-11 at 01:45 PM.

  3. #3

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyM View Post
    I have another post that I just put up abour Les Paul Junior and Specials but I was wondering if anyone knew for sure what the black Les Paul is that Glenn Frey from the Eagles is often seen playing (it looks like a Junion that has a front pickup added) wikipedia has this written when you look up Les Pauls and go down to the Juniors area
    "Special-Special, 1964 , two pickups, on a flat maple top, mahogany back, and a skinny flat '60s neck, with dots. Loud with bass overtones. Glenn Frey's sound on, "No Fun Aloud", a 1982 solo album". I don't know what they are talking about, special-special" what is that? Any help would be appriciated.
    If I'm not mistaken, that was a guitar that he got from Paul Paul Barrere of Little Feat, who did the mods before Glenn got hold of it. since he's had it practically forever, I think he likes it quite a bit...

  4. #4

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Marshall 1987, Thanks for the reply...you are correct, Glenn does play and had palyed this guitar for a long while. The problem that I see is that it has only two knobs like a Junior but it has a front pickup like a Special. I think that maybe it is an old Junior with an added front pickup and a toggle switch. All I know is that I want one! BTW what the hell is this?

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member kharrison's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyM View Post
    Marshall 1987, Thanks for the reply...you are correct, Glenn does play and had palyed this guitar for a long while. The problem that I see is that it has only two knobs like a Junior but it has a front pickup like a Special. I think that maybe it is an old Junior with an added front pickup and a toggle switch. All I know is that I want one! BTW what the hell is this?
    Looks like a renecked 70's Les Paul Custom with P90's added

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyM View Post
    BTW what the hell is this?
    looks like a 50's single cut Junior with a lot of things done to it.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  7. #7
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyM View Post
    Marshall 1987, I think that maybe it is an old Junior with an added front pickup and a toggle switch. All I know is that I want one! BTW what the hell is this?
    Must have been a common mod back in the day.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    I vote for a '50s Junior with an added neck pup, ABR/TOM, and toggle.


  9. #9

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Thanks everyone for the replys. I had read someplace that he got this guitar from Jackson Browne (not the guy from Little Feet, but who knows). Jackson couldn't get the guitar to stay in tune or something and gave or sold it to Glenn...maybe that's when he had the TOM added? Rev.WillieVK, that is a great straight on picture of Glenn with the guitar. Definitely a dog-ear in the front and a toggle switch added below the bridge. Strange though, no Gibson markings at all...total refinish?

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.WillieVK View Post
    I vote for a '50s Junior with an added neck pup, ABR/TOM, and toggle.

    Yup, I think you are right. I don't see any neck binding in that photo. Plus the control layout and pickups are not consistent with a Les Paul Special.

    It's amazing how some of these famous and wealthy performers tend to hang on to "mutt" guitars they acquired as teenagers or young bloods. Must have something to do with the neurons and wiring of the left side of the brain. Or is it the right side? Argh

  11. #11

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    You could be right about Jackson Browne, but I THINK I remember reading in an interview that Paul (Little Feat guy) spent a summer sanding down a Jr. or Special, painting it red/orange in imitation of a Gretsch color maybe, and then never liking it. and then doing the current mods before giving/selling it to Glenn. that first part is in the Guitar Player Magazine interview with him and Lowell from the 70's (sorry, my books/mags are still packed up from a recent move). I believe I read the second part (about him passing it on to Glenn) in another publication later... again, my memories of this are a little foggy. I'll try and dig the interview out as soon as possible.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member 58Lover's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    I read many years ago that Jackson Browne gave it to him.

  13. #13

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by TW59 View Post
    looks like a 50's single cut Junior with a lot of things done to it.
    Norlin made some flat maple topped Les Pauls in the very early 80's, I forget what it was called (XP2?), but they had humbuckers. Maybe the dogears are retrofitted.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member 58Lover's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    My guess is someone in K-town made himself a custom piece. It's happened before.

  15. #15

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Scroll Down to "o"

    http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyl...es-A-to-Z-804/#

    I know it may not be totally accurate but it is what it is.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by 58Lover View Post
    My guess is someone in K-town made himself a custom piece. It's happened before.
    Kaiserslautern?!
    Pauls to the walls!

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  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Flogger View Post
    Norlin made some flat maple topped Les Pauls in the very early 80's, I forget what it was called (XP2?), but they had humbuckers. Maybe the dogears are retrofitted.
    Glen Frey has played that black guitar publicly since at least 1974.

  18. #18

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    holy shit .. i ain't been here in about 11 years and i'm still a member .. who knew huh ?? i put up a post about glens guitar in 2003 and nobody knew anything .. i do know a few things tho .. 1st he did get the guitar from jackson browne .. he may have gotten another one from paul barrere of little feat but not that one .. i heard glen on a radio show actually say he got it from jackson who said i can't keep this sucker in tune you want it ?? what i don't know is what it looked like when jackson gave it to him .. was it a sunburst that was later painted black ?? i'm pretty sure it was originally a junior that had a neck pup added .. i think if you look at it close you'll see the toggle is more like a tele toggle than a lester .. but because everything is black its really hard to get a good look to see for sure .. i saw glen at the capitol theatre in passaic playin that guitar in 1972 so any stories of it bein a 1980's guitar are untrue .. what has crossed my mind is this is not a gibson but a jap copy .. why do i think that ?? cause if i was gibson i'd have already made about a million glen frey les pauls and sold em for 2 grand each .. but if the word ever got out it wasn't even a gibson it would make gibson look silly to have a guy like glen still playin a jap copy instead of the real thing after all these years .. it would only reinforce the jap myth of superiority and wouldn't help them at all now .. when i saw the eagles at the capitol it was back when nobody even knew who they were yet and they only filled the first few rows if everyone in the place moved up so it was pretty easy to get a look at the guitar .. problem was i wasn't such a gear hound back then so i didn't really take notes .. what i will say was i was kinda surprised that a guy like glen who was playin in a tourin band back then was playin a cheap knockoff of a gibson cause it had no markins on it at all to denote otherwise .. but then who knows i could be wrong .. maybe it was just repainted and the guy who did it got carried away .. maybe he botched up the neck pup so he repainted to hide his screwups ?? and ended up paintin over the gibson logo on the headstock too ?? i dunno .. all just speculation on my part tho .. maybe by now somebody will have some new info on this .. this is somethin that has haunted me over the years.. when you think how long glen used this guitar and that its on almost all the greatest hits and the eagles have sold more records than just about anybody except the beatles that old black les paul is probably on more records sold than just about any other guitar in rock and roll history .. no small feat for some who knows what for sure modified lester or lester clone .. either way it should get its due when you talk about a special lester like jimmy pages or slash or gary moore or peter greens .. what do you guys think ??

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    I still think it's a real Gibson Les Paul Junior, with modifications:



  20. #20

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    thats a pretty good shot of the guitar in the first pic there rev .. one of the best i've seen .. try to look at the headstock tho .. i know its hard to tell .. i'd love to see guitar player or premier guitar or vintage guitar do some kinda pictorial on this thing .. maybe even have an interview with glen himself .. get jackson to say where he got it from if possible .. cause i just don't know .. you may be right .. it could be an old 57 jr. .. but then .. it just might not be .. i wonder if anyone has any definitive info on the jap copies from the early 70's or late 60's .. or as one guy said it could just be a ktown employee custom as it was known to happen .. glen where are you and what is this thing ??

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member JJ Blair's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    if i was gibson i'd have already made about a million glen frey les pauls and sold em for 2 grand each .. but if the word ever got out it wasn't even a gibson it would make gibson look silly to have a guy like glen still playin a jap copy instead of the real thing after all these years ..
    You mean like all those Slash model Les Pauls based on the original which was a fake Gibson?

    I don't think that's what kept them from doing it.

    Great info, though. Thanks for the update.
    Last edited by JJ Blair; 07-03-14 at 10:31 AM.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member dragonfire's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    I'm pretty sure that Glenn, nor Jackson for that matter gives a rats ass about the origins of the guitar. . . .the just play 'em!

    Only us freaks on the forums seem to remotely care about this minutiae!

    I'm sure it's special to Glenn because he got it from his friend JB and him and JD Souther used to do lines off of it!!
    Keep on Rockin' in the Free World. . .

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Doc Sausage's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    "I'm sure it's special to Glenn because he got it from his friend JB and him and JD Souther used to do lines off of it!!

    Har! There's probably a lot of truth to that statement!
    "I don't want to be part of any club that would accept me as a member" - Groucho Marx

  24. #24

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    all probably true .. cept for the gibson not makin a glen frey model .. i don't understand why they don't ?? there's a lotta money on the table and they're just leavin it there .. i mean come on dickenbacker made a glen frey model and i think glen played it for all of 6 minutes .. how much more mileage would gibson get outta a glen frey lester ?? i'm sure glen would do it if he did the dickenbacker which he didn't play anyway .. maybe if we all sent gibson a bunch of emails askin em when are they gonna have them glen frey lesters hit the street they might say heeeeeeeeey .. we outta make some of these suckers .. why didn't we think of this before ?? gibson can't be that stooopid not to do it ..

  25. #25
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.WillieVK View Post
    I vote for a '50s Junior with an added neck pup, ABR/TOM, and toggle.

    +1
    Mike Slubowski

    * "Gibson guitars are like potato chips - you can't have just one!"

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  26. #26
    All Access/Backstage Pass Triburst's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    I agree, too, Mike. It's not the first one I've seen, either.

    I remember a "Junior conversion" being posted on the "eBay" thread a couple of years ago that had humbuckers and binding (and possibly a maple cap, if I remember correctly).

  27. #27

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    now here we go .. i just found this .. a roy buchanan les paul .. i never knew they gave him a les paul model .. and this is from 1971 .. not sayin its wrong but who here knew that roy played a les paul ?? all i've ever seen him with was a tele .. always a tele .. don't get me wrong i like it .. if i had 15 grand just layin around i'd be callin cowtown guitars right now .. ( what can i say i'm a sucker for a lester with p90's ) and this one is a beauty .. but roy gettin a lester before glen ?? really .. i mean really ??

    http://cowtownguitars.com/iframe/pag...s_image_46.jpg

  28. #28

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by albacorky View Post
    now here we go .. i just found this .. a roy buchanan les paul .. i never knew they gave him a les paul model .. and this is from 1971 .. not sayin its wrong but who here knew that roy played a les paul ?? all i've ever seen him with was a tele .. always a tele .. don't get me wrong i like it .. if i had 15 grand just layin around i'd be callin cowtown guitars right now .. ( what can i say i'm a sucker for a lester with p90's ) and this one is a beauty .. but roy gettin a lester before glen ?? really .. i mean really ??

    http://cowtownguitars.com/iframe/pag...s_image_46.jpg
    Roy had a Lester (a black custom) on the cover of one of his later albums, "When a guitar plays the blues", iirc. He did an interview saying he could do anything on it that he could do on a tele.
    I cant read that paper in that pic, but i think thats literally Roy's guitar, not a signature model.

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member Pat Boyack's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by EvLectric View Post
    I cant read that paper in that pic, but i think thats literally Roy's guitar, not a signature model.
    I says it belonged to Roy and was written by his wife.

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member mbowen's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Made a few Black Jr's never saw an original Black Special from the 50's but i bet there is one out there.M.B.
    Last edited by mbowen; 07-05-14 at 01:08 PM.

  31. #31

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by EvLectric View Post
    Roy had a Lester (a black custom) on the cover of one of his later albums, "When a guitar plays the blues", iirc. He did an interview saying he could do anything on it that he could do on a tele.
    I cant read that paper in that pic, but i think thats literally Roy's guitar, not a signature model.
    fwiw, there was a guy who dealt guitars outta his house in Baltimore in the mid-70s early 80s that told me years ago that he had gotten a call from Roy saying he wanted a les Paul ..no model mention..just a les Paul guitar ...the guy ( Paul Marsheck ) said he did and come on over ..he described Roy's arrival being in a beat up old station wagon with kids and wife in tow ...said he sold him a Paul and he was on his was back to DC

  32. #32
    All Access/Backstage Pass Black58's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.WillieVK View Post
    Going by the "History Of The Eagles" info, it seems to me, a whole "Fuck 'em, keep 'em guessing",
    sourpuss game; Across the board.


    .. btw, I'm predicting from this photo, that in 5-10 years (if he's still alive),
    that his face and head will actually become a potato, instead of just looking like one!

  33. #33
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    It is a modified Jr. He talked at length about it in a Guitar Magazine ages ago. He also mentions his Deluxe Amp with a 12" Vox Blue Alnico spkr. IIRC he claimed both as his most precious gear.

    I don't understand the confusion. No neck binding, dog ear P90 and gold not pearl logo and two knobs equals Jr.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  34. #34

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    Glen Frey has played that black guitar publicly since at least 1974.
    I was talking about the 4 knob, flat topped sunburst guitar, you can see the edge of humbucker routes peeking out under the dogears.

  35. #35

    Re: Glenn Frey's guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by EvLectric View Post
    Roy had a Lester (a black custom) on the cover of one of his later albums, "When a guitar plays the blues", iirc. He did an interview saying he could do anything on it that he could do on a tele.
    I cant read that paper in that pic, but i think thats literally Roy's guitar, not a signature model.
    Her was also pictured on an anthology cover with a sunburst Les Paul Pro with P90s.

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