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  1. #1
    All Access/Backstage Pass Scott Wolfe's Avatar
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    1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    My friend, who plays bass in the band, casually mentioned (!) that he now has his dad's 1947 L7 and wondered what it might be worth. He sent me these pics along with the story. OMG it's a beauty!










    Here's the history:

    "My dad received it when he was a teenager, so that would have been sometime about in the mid 40's. He and a bunch of his rustic friends had a garage country band, back in the day, he told me, before that type of music was called "country", even back before it was "country and western". In those days it was called "hillbilly" music, at least by his mother and his circle of friends in Clifton NJ. This band was called The Four Cloverleafs, or something like that. They played mainly for their own entertainment, but every now and then they would appear in their matching cowboy shirts at some hootenanny sponsored by the local radish farmer co-op or something. I don't think you'll find them on Napster. I happened across some of his old sheet music once; songs like "Feudin' and Fighin", "Pistol Packin' Mama", "I'm A-Brandin' My Darlin'"; you get the idea. I remember him playing that guitar off and on when I was growing up in the 60s. We lived in Washington DC for three years around 1970, and at that time the National Cathedral had folk-music worship services in the basement (which in a cathedral is actually called the "crypt") at which you brought your own guitar, sat on the steps of one of four magnificent stairways that came out of each corner of this sinister-looking room (with iron grates leading off to the tombs and names of dead Episcopalian bishops carved into the walls) and sang "Jesus Met The Woman At The Well" and "Who's That Guy With The Beard" (really). I remember going to these services with my parents (my Mom had a cheap nylon-string guitar) and grooving on the sound of 50 or so guitars reverberating through a room with stone walls, a stone ceiling, and a stone floor. But I'd say from about that time to now the L7's been basically moved from one basement to another."


    Based on the serial number, it was built in 1947. Anyone have any other info on this guitar and also what it might be worth?

    Thanks!
    I got a gal, she live on the hill

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member moonweasel's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    Thats such a beautiful instrument. Is you friend asking what it is worth because he wants to sell it, or is he just curious? I dont think I could ever bring myself to sell such a "family" instrument. Try to get him to keep it!

    Wow, just amazing!

  3. #3
    All Access/Backstage Pass Scott Wolfe's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    He's at least curious. I don't know if he's thinking about selling it but he did ask what I thought it was worth.

    Yes, it is amazing! I need to ask him to bring it to rehearsal so I can hold it.
    I got a gal, she live on the hill

  4. #4

    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    Here is a link to gBase

    I've been looking at these lately and find that they normally go between $1500 and $2500 depending on the year, condition, and finish.
    Mike
    playin' blues with feelin'

  5. #5
    All Access/Backstage Pass Scott Wolfe's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    Thanks!
    I got a gal, she live on the hill

  6. #6
    All Access/Backstage Pass Scott Wolfe's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    Btw, it looks like a floating P-90, attached to the pickguard, would be just the ticket. What kind of bracket do you need to make it work?
    I got a gal, she live on the hill

  7. #7

    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Wolfe
    Btw, it looks like a floating P-90, attached to the pickguard, would be just the ticket. What kind of bracket do you need to make it work?
    You might be best looking for one specificly made to attach to the pickgaurd. I think a regular P90 is going to be way too big for that without altering the top.
    Mike
    playin' blues with feelin'

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member gitarzilla's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    PLEASE don't to try to make that guitar into something it doesn't want to be -- amplified. Any attempts will just leave you frustrated with the poor results (terrible tone, uncontrollable feedback, etc)and most likely put a bunch of unnecessary holes in that beautiful guitar. Get it set up well and just dig it the way it is for what it is -- a gorgeous heirloom vintage carved top instrument. If whoever owns it wants to play an archtop amplified, there are tons of great ES guitars available at a variety of prices (from pretty low: ES125s to higher priced 175s) that will do the amplified archtop thing much better. Rant over, sorry -- IMHO, YMMV, etc.
    Well by and by, way after many years have gone,
    And all the war freaks die off, leavin' us alone.
    We'll raise our children in the peaceful way we can,
    It's up to you and me brother
    To try and try again

  9. #9
    All Access/Backstage Pass Scott Wolfe's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    Good advice. I haven't even touched it yet and I'm thinking about ways to change it.

    BUT, I wasn't thinking about drilling holes - just looking for ideas for pickups that clip on to the pickguard.

    Anyway, it's not my guitar - though I wish it was....
    I got a gal, she live on the hill

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner TW59's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    Judging by the pickguard, it had something a while ago. Do you see any mounting screw holes?
    Pauls to the walls!

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  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    you are so right gitarzilla

    there was an old epiphone triumph for sale in the crummy local music shop near where i live...i tried to get it cheap hoping they didn't know what they had...anyways...some guy bought it, fitted a pickup and sanded it down...the poor thing had survived 50 years untouched until some twat bought it and ruined it.

    that L7 deserves to be left 'as is'.
    I may rock, but my heart's not made of stone - Jim Carrey.
    www.mikemarkeyandnickjones.com

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Plankspanker's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    Depending on condition the '40s L7s, have been pushing $3500, ********** has an L7N for $3700. or so. You can get them cheaper, but they usually have issues, cracks, etc.

  13. #13
    All Access/Backstage Pass Scott Wolfe's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Plankspanker
    Depending on condition the '40s L7s, have been pushing $3500, ********** has an L7N for $3700. or so. You can get them cheaper, but they usually have issues, cracks, etc.
    I guessed at what ********** stood for, but guessed wrong. Can you give me a hint?
    I got a gal, she live on the hill

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Plankspanker's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 Gibson L7 - Great pics

    Common term to describe the rear trunk seat of a '31 Model A Ford 5 window coupe. Back to the L7s, the Natural finished ones usually sell for a considerable amount more than the Sunburst models.

  15. #15

    Les Pauls 1935 - 37 L-7

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Wolfe View Post
    My friend, who plays bass in the band, casually mentioned (!) that he now has his dad's 1947 L7 and wondered what it might be worth. He sent me these pics along with the story. OMG it's a beauty!










    Here's the history:

    "My dad received it when he was a teenager, so that would have been sometime about in the mid 40's. He and a bunch of his rustic friends had a garage country band, back in the day, he told me, before that type of music was called "country", even back before it was "country and western". In those days it was called "hillbilly" music, at least by his mother and his circle of friends in Clifton NJ. This band was called The Four Cloverleafs, or something like that. They played mainly for their own entertainment, but every now and then they would appear in their matching cowboy shirts at some hootenanny sponsored by the local radish farmer co-op or something. I don't think you'll find them on Napster. I happened across some of his old sheet music once; songs like "Feudin' and Fighin", "Pistol Packin' Mama", "I'm A-Brandin' My Darlin'"; you get the idea. I remember him playing that guitar off and on when I was growing up in the 60s. We lived in Washington DC for three years around 1970, and at that time the National Cathedral had folk-music worship services in the basement (which in a cathedral is actually called the "crypt") at which you brought your own guitar, sat on the steps of one of four magnificent stairways that came out of each corner of this sinister-looking room (with iron grates leading off to the tombs and names of dead Episcopalian bishops carved into the walls) and sang "Jesus Met The Woman At The Well" and "Who's That Guy With The Beard" (really). I remember going to these services with my parents (my Mom had a cheap nylon-string guitar) and grooving on the sound of 50 or so guitars reverberating through a room with stone walls, a stone ceiling, and a stone floor. But I'd say from about that time to now the L7's been basically moved from one basement to another."


    Based on the serial number, it was built in 1947. Anyone have any other info on this guitar and also what it might be worth?

    Thanks!
    Hey,
    Les Paul gave me his original L-7 many years ago and asked me to take care of it. The guitar was a wreck but I contacted Gibson Restoration & Repair and they brought it back to life. Come to find out it was one of the first attempts by Les to make an electric guitar.
    He stuck needles from his phonograph into the body to amplify the guitar through the phonograph. They have a series of photos on their site
    about restoring the guitar which blew my mind. Unfortunately, I was told that due to the age and historical background,the guitar sits in cases were ever it goes but occasionally I break the rule and let someone play it!! Just a cool story I thought I would tell another L7 owner/

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