Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!
Definitely check under that plate. If no problem there, take a better picture and ask for a nice shiny new one. LPs are premium guitars and the price reflects that. You ought to get new and shiny. Only then can you begin the years-long painstaking and noble task of beating the thing up without actually destroying it.