The Fender Forum
NEW! LPF Facebook Page
NEW! LPF Instagram Page
Merchandise & Donations
NEW! Burst Serial Log Home Page
LPF Homesite
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 40 of 52
  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    182

    John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    I have seen a few pics and even a few videos of McLaughlin playing what looked like either a really fine condition '58 or '59 Sunburst....I think that this is the one he traded off for a couple of vintage hollow bodies....anyone know who walked off with that guitar or where it is these days?
    Also, I have seen in quite a few interviews that he still has a vintage black '50s Gibson Les Paul Custom that he used quite a bit back in the '70s...anyone have any pics of this guitar or know any specifics?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Lost in the Ozarks [again]
    Posts
    42,005

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by CPM55 View Post
    I have seen a few pics and even a few videos of McLaughlin playing what looked like either a really fine condition '58 or '59 Sunburst...
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    182

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6sxv...C44ECB4F5FFA25

    John McLaughlin Pacific Express YouTube video

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member keef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    5,005

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member spidey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Northampton, England
    Posts
    3,214

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    He used the black customer on the first mahavishnu album, Inner Mounting Flame. Very cool!

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Black58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    In the bathroom, fixing my guitar.
    Posts
    10,136

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by spidey View Post
    He used the black customer on the first mahavishnu album, Inner Mounting Flame. Very cool!
    black customer?

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    13,531

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls


  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member StSpider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Padua, Italy
    Posts
    2,125

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    F U autocorrect?
    - 2006 Les Paul Historic R4 Oxblood
    - 2012 ES-330TDVB
    - 1995 Les Paul Studio Ebony with B7 Bigsby

    There is NO substitute for Loudness.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    182

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls



    I am confused...maybe even a tad naive or perhaps ignorant....what do those last two posts even mean!?!?

    Not trying to be disrespectful....just a bit clueless maybe.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Mahalo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Tarrying with the negative
    Posts
    530

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by CPM55 View Post


    I am confused...maybe even a tad naive or perhaps ignorant....what do those last two posts even mean!?!?

    Not trying to be disrespectful....just a bit clueless maybe.
    Just a gentle thread hijack, a bit of banter over an unintentional typo - "customer" instead of "custom" - caused by an auto-spellcheck program. All good.

    Back on topic: I remember reading a Guitar Player magazine way back in which John mentioned he had loaned out the 58 to a colleague who apparently treated the guitar poorly. I also recall he said he swapped it for a few Johnny Smiths.


  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    182

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Thanks for clearing that up....I was starting to wonder if I were the "problem" and didn't even realize it.....

    I think that last thread..."someone treating it poorly"....might testify to the fact that maybe WE all love these instruments to a higher degree than the artists who made them "famous". They were all "players" and the instruments were merely "means to an end"....the "players" often sounded the same regardless of what instrument they were playing.

    Bloomfield beat the crap out of that infamous '59 (tossing it in the back of his car's trunk from what I've heard) and even leaving it behind...SACRILEGE to most of us!

    Paul Kossoff looked like he attacked those Bursts like a great white attacking a seal!

    How many times did Jeff Beck change the neck of one of his '59s to better suit his tastes.

    To a collector these actions would be insane. Back then it was "just a guitar".

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member bern1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    on the edge
    Posts
    1,048

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    I don't think they've been "just a guitar" since about 1966, even for those players you mentioned....
    When you pick up the guitar, play it like it’s the last time.
    E.C.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member mingus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    4,222

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by bern1 View Post
    I don't think they've been "just a guitar" since about 1966, even for those players you mentioned....
    That's right. They were always difficult to find and if you did find one, it was very pricey (compared to other good vintage guitars)!
    .

    "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".

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member spidey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Northampton, England
    Posts
    3,214

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    OOps! Yes 'Custom' not 'customer'! Well spotted guys.

  15. #15

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    What's he playing here?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMRft...deo&playnext=3

    Is this an old Special redux?
    Photobucket

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member sidekick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Within my home
    Posts
    3,052

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by CPM55 View Post
    Thanks for clearing that up....I was starting to wonder if I were the "problem" and didn't even realize it.....

    I think that last thread..."someone treating it poorly"....might testify to the fact that maybe WE all love these instruments to a higher degree than the artists who made them "famous". They were all "players" and the instruments were merely "means to an end"....the "players" often sounded the same regardless of what instrument they were playing.

    Bloomfield beat the crap out of that infamous '59 (tossing it in the back of his car's trunk from what I've heard) and even leaving it behind...SACRILEGE to most of us!

    Paul Kossoff looked like he attacked those Bursts like a great white attacking a seal!

    How many times did Jeff Beck change the neck of one of his '59s to better suit his tastes.

    To a collector these actions would be insane. Back then it was "just a guitar".
    True, insofar that the players of the day often played them hard and they were "tools of the trade".

    AFAIK, Paul Kossoff had some "accidents", but others were quite aware... For example, Jeff Beck, (Yardbirds era) was known for becoming a bit frustrated at times... But, he realised that if you went back into the dressing-room and threw your Les Paul down, it wouldn't necessarily survive like a Fender... As you say... Perhaps that was the reason...


  17. #17

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by bern1 View Post
    I don't think they've been "just a guitar" since about 1966, even for those players you mentioned....
    Actually, at that particular time you could still pick up a burst for next to nothing, and the only American 'rock star' using one was John Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful. In November of 1966, just before moving back to my native Holland, I saw a few burst going for around 150 bucks a piece in an LA pawnshop. Thoroughly underwhelmed by their stuffy looks, I bought an SG Special for 235 bucks instead. The Beano Album had been released in March of that year, but it actually took a few more years before Clapton, Greene, Beck and Page popularized the burst in its country of origin.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    182

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    [IMG]file:///Users/Kelly/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG][IMG]file:///Users/Kelly/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/moz-screenshot-1.png[/IMG][IMG]file:///Users/Kelly/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/moz-screenshot-3.png[/IMG]

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    182

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Soory guys...I tried to post some picks that I saw on the net and saved, but they didn't show up. I saw a recent interview with McLaughlin in which he was sitting with his "famous" black Gibson Les Paul Custom. It had a bigsby and looked like a '55 as best I could tell. I'll try again this week end to either figure out how to post what I saved or find the original site to get you there. It was not a "Burst"....I believe his Burst was a really clean and fine '58 that he traded away for a couple of Johny Smiths. The black custom doesn't look like the one that was on the back cover of Extrapolation...it looks like a really great condition '55 with a Bigsby and maybe gold hardware and Grovers. I will keep trying. I have seen him mention that he still has, and loves to play, this Gibson Les Paul Custom, but this is the first time I've actually seen it.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member lonesomesheik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Little Brittany
    Posts
    1,193

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    I've heard the story that he exchanged his Burst for 3 Byrdlands in Paris from a famous Paris vintage dealer.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member sgtJoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Locust Grove, GA
    Posts
    2,242

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    I remember reading somewhere that he said the black LP Cust he used on Inner Mounting Flame was a rented one.
    There are only two kinds of people in this world, ignorant and intelligent, which one are you.

  22. #22

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    JM - clearly one of the most original and creative players-
    His work during the Miles Davis era can only be described as brilliant and brave.
    The Black Custom used on IMF was in fact rented.
    In the end it's still all about the music- the instrument is a vehicle of inspiration.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    182

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    I have emailed the two photos of McLaughlin's vintage Gibson Les Paul Custom to the administrators for posting. The one he had from IMF was rented to my knowledge, as already posted. I have seen quite a few articles in which John mentions that he only has kept a few guitars over the years and this Les Paul Custom, a '55 I think, is one of them. As you will see in the pics, it is quite a fine looking specimen...looks like Alnico & P90 with a Bigsby and Gold hardware. I am sure that our experts can shed some more light. These days he is pretty much using the Godin models....but the articles I've seen also mention the Gibson Les Paul Custom, a Fender Strat, at least one PRS, and a slew of Gibson hollow bodies that he still has and plays.
    I agree that he is not only one of the most amazing players and most influential, but he has to be amongst the most versatile, excelling in quite a few different genres.

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    182

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    If someone gives me an email address I'll send the two photos to you of McLaughlin with his Gibson Les Paul Custom. I just couldn't figure out how to post them. I sent them to the forum email but as they are not posted yet, maybe they didn't go through or they couldn't post them either. It looks like a pretty clean example which I am guessing is either a '55 or '56, Bigsby equipped.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member Mahalo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Tarrying with the negative
    Posts
    530

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by CPM55 View Post
    If someone gives me an email address I'll send the two photos to you of McLaughlin with his Gibson Les Paul Custom. I just couldn't figure out how to post them. I sent them to the forum email but as they are not posted yet, maybe they didn't go through or they couldn't post them either. It looks like a pretty clean example which I am guessing is either a '55 or '56, Bigsby equipped.
    Hi there. Just tried to send you an email to help post these photos but your profile has email turned off.

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    182

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Ok...I think I turned it on. Send me an email and I'll send you the two photos! Thanks!

  27. #27
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,628

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    From the Gibson Website:

  28. #28
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,628

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls




  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member Mahalo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Tarrying with the negative
    Posts
    530

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Photos courtesy of CPM55:




  30. #30
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,628

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Flat top carve, wide cutaway binding, speed knobs and small upper inlays...likely a 70s model.

  31. #31
    Formerly Tweedguy buckaroo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Midwest USA
    Posts
    932

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    He sure plays fast. Having said that, I don't know that he makes "every note count".

    I guess I am a fan of "less is more" when comes to playing music. I can't help but admire his rapid fire dexterity, but I have been moved more by players with greater economy of style.

  32. #32
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    19,628

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    He's way more than fast notes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIrde...65A718374A35BD

    Lot's of work with Indian influenced acoustic instruments with drone strings and all.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    182

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Much thanks to Mahalo for posting the pics!!!
    I always hear McLaughlin talking about a '50s Custom that he still had...I thought for sure this would be it. It definitely doesn't look like the one from the back cover of extrapolation, unless it's been significantly modified. I always thought the back cover Custom was the "renter" he always notes.
    So it is a '70s model? I didn't realize they came with Bigsbys and those pick ups then. You guys are the experts, so I leave it in your hands. I wonder if someone from McLaughlins site or McLaughlin himself would clear it up?
    As for his playing style...I agree that for alternate picking, it is hard to beat McLaughlin, DiMeola, Lane, and Maalmsteen. These days likely Petrucci is up there as well. McLaughlin and Lane still seem the most versatile. I'd probably put Steve Morse in there as well. DiMeola, although he can still burn with the best of them, seems to have gone a different direction these days....more composition and feeling...less speed.
    Well regardless of the year, that sure is a pretty Custom!

  34. #34

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    John McLaughlin: not your average Claptonesque player-
    a completely different set of concepts-
    He has extended the guitar vocabulary into a range of new zones
    imho : one of the worlds most creative players w a lasting impact.
    Absolutley landmark work on IMF

  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member tooold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Inadvertently representing the USA in France and the UK
    Posts
    2,055

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by tweedguy View Post
    He sure plays fast. Having said that, I don't know that he makes "every note count".

    I guess I am a fan of "less is more" when comes to playing music. I can't help but admire his rapid fire dexterity, but I have been moved more by players with greater economy of style.
    Yep, he can play fast as hell. But... I saw him three times '73 - '76 - first with the original Orchestra (Cobham, Hammer, et al), then with the second incarnation (with Narada Michael Walden on drums), and then with his Indian acoustic group, Shakti. The thing that knocked me out, with every group, was that the grooves were unbelievable - incredibly soulful, real pulse even in the odd time signature stuff. And the sound - with the first Orchestra, two Marshall stacks with the double neck SG - the sound coming from that 12-string was ridiculous. Defining shows for me.

    Throw in what he did on Bitches' Brew - playing a flat-top Gibson with a DeArmond soundhole pickup - and he was pretty amazing.

    I'll admit, not much that he's done since then really gets to me, but I don't care. Those few years were enough.

  36. #36
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    4,854

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    The Paris stories are correct. That was a while ago, in the early Nineties. The dealer, Hertz Maron, got it in some sort of "package deal". Who he sold it to, on the other hand, is not known to me, although he used to sell guitars to the guys in Oasis, so maybe one of them bought it. Hertz is a great guy, and a character. Don't know if he's still in business, but check him out if you're ever in his neck o' the woods.

  37. #37

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Hey guys, although this thread is quite old, I'm able to provide you some accurate information regarding this Mac Laughlin Les Paul Burst.

    There are several videos on Youtube where you can see JML playing this guitar in 1985/1986 with The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Most of them are of very poor quality but one : John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra live at the North Sea Jazz Festival • 1986 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofO599uw2DY is decent. As all burst from this era, this guitar has distinctive body figures that makes it recognizable, among others a wood mark coming from under the pickguard down to the tone button that can be seen at 13:51 in the North Jazz Festival video.

    The story regarding the deal with Hertz Meron in Paris is absolutely true. Check the article : JOHN McLAUGHLIN FULFILLS THE PROMISE Guitar Player 1996 http://users.cs.cf.ac.uk/Dave.Marsha...t/promise.html that explains it's a 58 LP that JML traded against 3 Johnny Smith.

    I know first hand because I'm an old friend of Hertz and actually bought this guitar from him. In fact it was yet an other exchange deal where I traded 5 guitars (including a 54 Telecaster + a 61 Strat) to get it ! Anyway I still own this guitar absolutely untouched since JML era. The only 'alterations' so to speak are:
    - non original jack plate (replaced with a metal one),
    - metal sleeve to isolate the pot cavity
    - Originally this guitar had a bigsby, you can see the 2 'snake bites' on the body. No idea when it was converted to a stop-tail as I do not know how and when John got this guitar.
    - refret with 59 style frets - likely at John's request but not sure

    Otherwise the guitar is stock, serial # 8 6XXX plays and sounds as it should...

    A picture is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-Qx3F2sZw04L2_CzTcvchScbOza6rrQn/view?usp=sharing

    Let me know if anybody wishes more info
    Cheers
    Eric
    Last edited by emguitar; 06-02-19 at 11:43 AM. Reason: links

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    1,202

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by emguitar View Post
    Let me know if anybody wishes more info
    Cheers
    Eric


    Awesome, wow!!!

    Yeah, anything ya have to say about it I'd love to read. JM tore that sucker up albeit with the 80's tone vibe thingy all those folks fell into....plus the clothes, lol.

    Is this one on burst serial etc?

  39. #39
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    4,854

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by CPM55 View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6sxv...C44ECB4F5FFA25

    John McLaughlin Pacific Express YouTube video
    That may be some of the least musical guitar playing I've ever heard--sounds like some Berklee dropout trying to "blow" at the Mass Ave Guitar Center...

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member Maxmc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    540

    Re: John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich R View Post
    That may be some of the least musical guitar playing I've ever heard--sounds like some Berklee dropout trying to "blow" at the Mass Ave Guitar Center...
    No argument from me on that score. This breakneck speedpicking of his is the one thing that puts me off him. Like listening to a typist trying to type out 80 words a minute.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Scroll Down And Click On All Of Our Sponsors' Logos For Their Websites!






i