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1959 Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
from Guitar Heroes magazine, November 1982
General Specs
Body: Bound carved maple top (visible center join), mahogany body, sides and back, 1-ply creme binding
Finish: Cherry Sunburst
Neck: 3-piece mahogany neck, 1-ply creme binding, shaved to an eliptical profile (by Virgil Lay of Lay's Guitars for Joe Walsh)
Fingerboard: Rosewood with pearl trapezoid inlays
Frets: 22
Bridge: ABR-1 Tune-o-matic Bridge
Headstock: Blackface with 'Gibson' logo pearl inlay
Tuners: Kluson tuners, later Gold Grovers
Hardware: Nickel
Pickguard: Raised cream acrylic
Pickups: 2 covered humbucker PAF, original bridge PAF changed, firstly to a T-top, then later to a custom-wound Duncan, and has been covered/uncovered at various times, (neck) 1960 PAF
Controls: (2) Volume, (2) Tone (w/ pull-pot switching added ca. 1980s), 3-way selector
Weight: 7 lbs., 8oz. (3.4 kg.)
Years in use: ca. April 1969 - Present
Jimmy Page's 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'Number One' is one of the most iconic guitars in history. Dressed in the black dragon suit, cigarette dangling from the edge of his lips with 'Number One' slung low across his pelvis, chugging on the E7 chord riff to Whole Lotta Love is what most people think of when they think of Jimmy Page.

Page bought 'Number One' from guitarist Joe Walsh in mid-April 1969 for $1,200 and debuted it at the San Francisco shows at the end of the month. It soon took the place of the 1959 Fender Telecaster as his primary guitar on stage. In addition, Page used Number One in recording Led Zeppelin II. When Page received the guitar, the neck had been shaved to an elliptical profile (by Virgil Lay of Lay's Guitars  for Joe Walsh) and had already had several repairs, including the headstock, which made the serial number go missing.

The original Kluson machine tuners were replaced with gold Grovers on August 9, 1969, shortly before that night's performance in Anaheim, California. By October 24, 1969, the white selector switch tip had gone missing and it had been temporarily fixed by November 4, 1969 by adding some gaffers tape. Also, around that time the chrome pickup cover had come off the bridge pickup, revealing a double-white PAF. By March 1971, a new pickup selector switch tip had replaced the gaffers tape. In November 1971, the jackplate had been rotated 45 degrees to resemble a diamond. Perhaps the output jack had been replaced.

Sometime after the 1972 Australian tour, the bridge pickup got replaced with a chrome-covered T-Top. By May 1973, the jackplate had been put back into the proper configuration. In 1975, the jackplate is broken again and gets held to the guitar body by sticky tape and is eventually fixed. On the 1977 tour, the jackplate once again is damaged and a piece of metal is crafted into a jackplate by laser operator, Steve Jander. This jackplate stayed on 'Number One' until 1985. In the early 1980s, the bridge pickup cover was removed, revealing a Seymour Duncan pickup. During The Firm's first tour in 1984, Page experiments a new look by taking the pickguard off but returned it by 1985. By 1988, an aged pickup selector switch tip replaced the white one and (1) push-pull pot had replaced an original pot to allow for in-out phasing of the pickups. Since then, 'Number One' has remained untouched.

Asked in the late 70's if much had been done to the guitar, when it was still being regularly gigged, Page said: "Yeah, it's been resprayed, but that's all gone now, it's all chipped off."Before Joe Walsh had sold the Les Paul to Page, he had already had it refinished

Although throughout the different decades, Page has relied on other guitars for different phases, such as the 1953 Fender Telecaster during the 1980s Roy Harper/Firm period and the 1988 Paul Reed Smith CE 24 in the 1990s in the Page/Plant tours, he had returned to 'Number One'. In a April 1998 Guitar Magazine interview, Page said, "An awful lot of Walking in Clarksdale was played on this guitar" (including Burning Up) Page used 'Number One' with a Digitech WH-1 Whammy Pedal for the second guitar solo in the title track Walking Into Clarksdale. Most recently, it had been used for nearly half of their set at the O2 Reunion Concert on December 10, 2007 and the encore performance with John Paul Jones at the Foo Fighters' Wembley Stadium performance on June 7, 2008.


1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Jimmy Page, June 28, 1969, Bath Recreation Grounds, Bath, England
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Jimmy Page, August 9, 1969, Anaheim Convention Center Arena, Anaheim, California
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Jimmy Page, Dazed And Confused, August 18, 1969, The Rock Pile, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Jimmy Page, November 4, 1969, Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Led Zeppelin, Dazed And Confused, March 20, 1971, The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, England
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Led Zeppelin, January 27, 1973, Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Led Zeppelin, March 27, 1975, The Forum, Inglewood, California
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Jimmy Page, June 23, 1977, The Forum, Inglewood, California
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Jimmy Page, August 11, 1979, Knebworth House Grounds, Stevenage, England
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Led Zeppelin, March 27, 1975, The Forum, Inglewood, California
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Pickguard removed, ca. 1984
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Jimmy Page, April 16, 1985, Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, May 14, 1988, Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Jimmy Page, March 25, 1995, Pittsburgh Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
Led Zeppelin, December 10, 2007, O2 Arena, London, England
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1' 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1' 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'
1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1' 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard 'No. 1'

Resources and Information:

Bacon, Tony. Million Dollar Les Paul: In Search Of The Most Valuable Guitar In The World. London: Jawbone Press, 2008.

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

August xx, 1968 - Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham hold their first rehearsals in Gerrard Street, London
August xx, 1968 - Page, Grant and Chris Dreja go see Robert Plant perform at a Birmingham Teachers College. Page invites Plant to his Pangbourne house and offers him the vocalist position
August xx, 1969 - Peter Grant starts enforcing the 90/10 split in favor of the band
August 31, 1969 - The third US tour ends at the Texas International Festival in Dallas
August xx, 1970 - Zeppelin earn no less than $25,000 per show
August 17, 1970 - Page completes mixing of the Led Zeppelin III in Memphis
August 19, 1971 - The seventh North American tour opens in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
August xx, 1972 - Jimmy Page purchases Plumpton Manor in Sussex
August xx, 1973 - Jimmy starts arranging ideas for the next album
August xx, 1974 - Film maker Peter Clifton has the band re-enact scenes at Shepperton Studios
August 31, 1974 - John Paul Jones appears with David Gilmour and Steve Broughton as Roy Harper’s backing band for the night
August 04, 1975 - Robert Plant and his family are seriously injured as their car veers off the road on the island of Rhodes
August 08, 1975 - Rehearsal for Zeppelin’s Eleventh North American tour postponed after Robert is involved in a serious car accident
August xx, 1976 - Arrangements are made to show the upcoming Zep film in theaters
August xx, 1976 - Jimmy Page finishes mixing the soundtrack for the movie The Song Remains The Same
August 14, 1977 - Jimmy jams with Ron Wood at a charity golf tournament for underprivileged children
August xx, 1978 - Robert plays with Dr. Feelgood and Phil Carson in Ibiza, Spain while on holiday
August 11, 1979 - Led Zeppelin perform a second show at Knebworth due to overwhelming ticket demands
August xx, 1980 - Jimmy moves into his new Windsor home, which was purchased from Michael Caine
August 14, 2009 - It Might Get Loud opened in select theatres in NY, WA & CA.
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