2005 Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page Number One
Like any kid born in the late 70’s to twenty-something parents, my childhood consisted of a healthy diet of Led Zeppelin. I’ve been a fan since I was in diapers and will continue to be well after my second time in diapers. I love today’s music, but we have to admit that nothing is coming out that has the raw power of a Jimmy Page riff. By time Page was 27 years old he had written Led Zeppelin I-IV and had a career as a Yardbird. It’s impressive to think of such a young dude crafting tunes that would stick in the heads of generations. There is something to be said about this musical wizardry and I guess one way is for Gibson to make the authentic recreation signature Jimmy Page Les Paul from 2004-2007.
Jimmy Page’s Number One: Mistress and wife…except it doesn’t ask for alimony
Jimmy Page bought his now famous 1958 Gibson Les Paul from Joe Walsh in the early 70’s for $500 to cover Joe’s travel costs (or $1,200 according to Joe). It was fast to become one of his favorites and later was backed up by his number 2 Les Paul that Gibson would authentically recreate in 2009. Jimmy’s number one is notable for it’s unique neck shape that is thick at the nut and heel but super slim middle, a push/pull pot in the rear volume control that reverses the phase to get that BB King tone, gold plated Grover tuners for more stable tuning, unique refinish that removed the guitar’s serial number, and bridge pickup sans cover. Oh and of course it’s famous for being the sound that brought some of rocks most famous riffs to life!
Recreating the Iconic Les Paul
In 2004, Gibson’s Custom, Art & Historic division introduced a Jimmy Page Signature Les Paul model to replicate everything that is the legendary Jimmy Page Number One. Edwin Wilson, the Gibson Historic Program Manager, was tasked with reviewing Page’s Les Paul for the authentic recreation. He had approximately 45 minutes with the guitar. Just long enough time to take a mold of the neck, measure pickup output, look into the control cavity, and take pictures. The resulting guitar would be a remarkable recreation.
The newly created custom Les Paul includes a new Page Burst finish color, custom designed Jimmy Page BurstBuckers, custom wiring and electronics, and a custom shaped neck all matching Jimmy Page’s guitar specs.
Gibson sent 30 guitars to Jimmy because they didn’t want to be presumptuous by sending just 25 of them and not allowing for any rejections. In fact, after playing the guitars, Jimmy was hard pressed to “reject” any of them. There were a few (like the guitar he kept) that just felt and sounded a little bit better to him, but he really was blown away by all of them.Led Zeppelin Gear: All the Gear from Led Zeppelin and the Solo Careers By Jeff Strawman
Three lines of Custom Authentic Jimmy Page’s Number One Les Paul
- Signature Models 1-26: Page reviewed the first 30 Tom Murphy aged models and selected the best 26, keeping the #1 as compensation for the program. The headstock is signed by Jimmy Page and no other numbering has been made. These guitars were shipped with strings played by Page during his review. Retail price: $23,699
- Tom Murphy Aged Models: Limited to 150 will be numbered like “PAGE XXX” on the back of the headstock. These guitars have been relic’d by Tom Murphy. Retail price: $16,566
- Unlimited run: Limited to 870 guitars will be numbered like “JPP XXX” on the back of the headstock. These are lightly relic’d or VOS (vintage original spec) so you will see light wear and checking to the finish. Retail Price $9,456
Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page Number One Specifications
- Dates of Production: 2004-2007
- Body: Single cutaway solid mahogany body, Carved figured maple top, 1-ply cream binding
- Finish: Page Burst
- Neck: 1-piece mahogany neck, 1-ply cream binding, Jimmy Page custom profile
- Headstock: Blackface with ‘Gibson’ logo pearl inlay and “Les Paul Model” silkscreened in gold.
- Fingerboard: Rosewood with trapezoid inlays (accurate shape and color)
- Nut width: 1-11/16″
- Scale: 24-3/4″
- Frets: 22
- Bridge: ABR-1 Tune-o-matic Bridge
- Tuners: Grover Roto-matic gold plated kidney bean tuners
- Hardware: Aged Nickel and Gold
- Pickguard: Raised cream acrylic
- Pickups: Jimmy Page custom BurstBuckers
- Controls: 2 volume, bridge tone with pull-pot series/parallel switching, neck tone with standard pot, 3-way selector
- Case: Gibson Custom custom black hardshell case with maroon plush lining
How did I end up with a $10,000 Custom Les Paul?
Most of my friends and family know I started this website as something to do now that I’m sober. My buddy Jerry tipped me off about a Les Paul he saw at a furniture auction in Mesa Arizona, less than an hour drive from my house. My thought was, “a Les Paul at a furniture auction? I gotta be able to get that cheap!” I did my research and figured if I could get it for around $3,000, it would be cheap enough for me to be able to do my online reviews stuff and flip it with little risk.
So the evening of the action I get there early and I’m dead wrong about no one knowing about the auction. There are other guitar collectors there with pockets full of money. Honestly I probably could have gotten out of there for around $3k if one other buyer wasn’t there to bid me up. And on the flip side they would have gotten out of there for under $3k if I weren’t there.
…What did I learn?
In retrospect, I needed to do more research to really understand what I am buying. I went in there thinking I was buying a guitar with a value between $7,500 and $28,000. Really I should have narrowed that down to what it really is, an unlimited run with no COA, which I’m about to learn what it’s real value is as soon as I list it for sale. I expect to sit on it and enjoy it for no less than a year. I don’t think it’s going to be an easy sale, with as much as I need to get out of it. In hindsight, I think I took a really bad risk. I could have ended up with one of the Chibson repros had there not been a few of real guitar geeks at the auction.
Some of my thoughts about this guitar…
This is my first guitar in the style of Gibson Les Pauls so this guitar is going to set the bar pretty high when I start buying and trying out guitars in this style that I can actually afford. The attention to detail on this guitar is astounding. My favorite part is that they actually drilled holes for the Gibson Deluxe Kluson style tuners only to install the Grover tuners. It looks crude but matches up with Jimmy’s actual guitar.
With the attention given to electronics and wiring any Led Zeppelin cover band needs this guitar if they want to sound like Jimmy Page…or at least rewire their Les Pauls. This thing sounds like a beast. I brought it to band practice and tried it out on a Dual Rectifier through an Orange 2×12 cabinet and it sounded monstrous.
The VOS relic’ing detail makes the guitar feel vintage and broken in… Although at almost 15 years old, it is well on its way to being vintage in it’s own right.
The way the coil splitting makes sense when you think about Jimmy’s Telecaster during the first years of Led Zeppelin. For live shows he would be able to simulate the Tele sound by splitting both coils without a guitar change.
Specifics about my Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page
- Volume pots have been updated with coil split pull pots
- Low amount of use, frets still look great
- Weighs 8 lbs 14 ounces
- It’s difficult to see because of the relic’ing but looks like there is damage to the headstock from guitar hangers. Les Pauls are notorious for having this kind of damage. It even happens in the store.
- No COA, no case candy, no hanger tags. I do have my purchase invoice.
- Original hardshell case and keys.
- Guitar is set up with Ernie Ball Super Slinkys 9’s like Jimmy Page uses.
- I may have the original strings. I saved them but they’re a bit corroded and I don’t know for a fact they’re original. The are also 9’s.