To avoid confusion!
£One Hundred Thousand GB Pounds
You must ring me before you bid on this guitar please.
+44(0)1642-557979 / +44(0)7850-515058
Gibson Les Paul 25/50 one of only 100 Flame Tops
Hand Made in 1978 by Gibson Kalamazoo
NEW OLD STOCK
Here could well be one of the most important guitars Gibson ever made. It was to celebrate 25 years of Les Paul and 50 years of Gibson. These particular 25/50 guitars were offered to dealers at the trade show in 1978, and had to be ordered before they were Hand Made by Gibson Kalamazoo for us. Gibson was going to use the very last of their old original precious stock of Flame Maple, and they only had enough for 100 guitars.
Being a Gibson Main Dealer, I ordered the guitars at the trade show, and managed to sell one immediately on a forward order, but as they were going to be so special I ordered three.
When they were made, Neville Marten (Now the editor of Guitar Techniques magazine) then working for the UK Gibson distribution company called Norlin, who latterly changed their name to Rosetti as they are known today, went to Rotterdam to inspect all the guitars before they were shipped out to the dealers. Neville wanted one of these and to his mind he chose the best one for himself, which was a birds eye maple one.
We got two of our three ordered guitars delivered, the two guitars looked great and it was hard to choose which one was better than the other when looked at them side by side. We then sold one of them to our customer who had pre ordered it, but Neville’s one was even better.
A few months later in the depth of winter, the third 25/50 that we ordered arrived on the back of a flat back truck. I was furious and wanted to send it back immediately, but all the staff said open it up and see what it’s like, so I waited 4 days before we opened it to make sure it had acclimatised itself to the temperature in the shop, as it was so expensive we did not want to lacquer crack it subjecting it to extreme changes of temperature. Gibson’s packaging was incredible, as they virtually shrink wrapped guitars into the packaging. We are also a bit mad like that and very careful with guitars, to the point of being excessive, but it always pays off, and we are still the same.
When we eventually opened the packaging we could not believe our eyes, this was the most amazing looking guitar we had ever seen. I phoned Neville and he came down to the shop to have a look, as he had not seen this one, and agreed it was a stunner.
The second 25/50 was sold, including Neville’s 25/50 in our shop, and 10 years later (1988) Neville, by then the Editor of Guitarist Magazine, phoned me up and asked if we still had this special guitar? I said it was still in stock and he asked if he could do an article on it for his Magazine.
I took it to their office and they photographed it and then immortalised it in a double page spread in the magazine in October 1988. This magazine comes with the guitar.
The guitar was so special we decided not to sell it from our shop, but keep it as a long-term investment, so it is NEW OLD STOCK!! Where can you find any 1978 Gibson Les Paul in any shop anywhere in the world that has been in stock for 30 years unsold? So this guitar still has the warranty/guarantee card for the guitar from Norlin/Gibson, and the card from Gibson to apply for the Free Gibson 25/50 Belt buckle, which they gave to every 25/50 owner. I doubt that you would get the buckle from Gibson now though! The serial number is Kalamazoo Jan 1979.
As said before there were only 100 of these special guitars made with the last of the Old Gibson Flame Maple they had at the time, even the Maple they used was by then, New But Old Stock! These guitars were so wanted that they decided to make them like normal Les Pauls at a cheaper price, in Black and Tobacco Sunburst, which were very popular, but nothing like this precious Flame Top.
Neville Marten made a matching Flame scratch plate and bell truss rod cover to go with this guitar, and John Skelton of Escort Gun Leather and now T.Rextasy drummer, made a Flamed 4inch wide leather strap to match. The Flamed Scratch Plate is on the guitar and the Truss rod cover is pictured, all this goes with the guitar, and the original scratch plate is with the guitar as well.
You may be wondering what the controls are! The controls work the same way as normal Les Pauls but it has a coil tap switch in the circuit that works on both pickups at the same time. The pickups they used are Gibson L7 and in the coil tap position they are louder than a normal Les Paul Standard. All the internal channels are lined and boxed in to stop any interference, so if you take the control panel off you are then confronted with another metal cover to take off before you can get to the controls. This guitar has virtually infinite sustain plugged into the right valve amp.
Over the years this guitar was shown to special customers in the shop, but never handed round for everyone to play, that’s not how we do things, but you will notice on the pictures that on the bridge the gold plate is thin on the bottom E side, this is very usual on Gold Plated Les Pauls as you must clean the gold plate EVERY time you play the guitar, and even then it will start to vanish, and if you are a sweaty player, buy a nickel plated Les Paul Standard as it will all come off.
The guitar has been kept wrapped in cotton, in a flight case to protect it, in a temperature-controlled environment all these years
We have a valid reason for wanting to now sell this Guitar, and no, we are not desperate for money. If this sells it sells, if it remains with us for another 30 years then my family will get the benefit I suppose.
I would recommend you view this guitar before you buy, but only by appointment, as we do not store it on our premises. Extra pictures can be emailed on request.
Please contact us before paying for this guitar by email or phone on +447850-515058 or +441642-557979 concerning payment, which must be cleared by our bank before delivery. We have been in business since 1976; we will not run away with your money.
If it is sold in UK Mainland then I will delivery it myself personally to make sure it is safe. If it is sold abroad then you must take responsibility for insuring it whilst in transit, or come and collect it. It will be parcelled up in a large and heavy flight case for protection. Shipping will obviously not be cheap. We will also inquire about insurance.
Any question please ring Tim 07850-515058 anytime.
PS. About the same time we sold a very special Fender Stratocaster to John Hill the marketing man of Fender UK. Where are you John? Please give me a ring sometime as we still have the matching guitar to yours!!!??? This Stratocaster is yet another story like the Gibson above, so watch this space!! We won’t even mention the Gurian Cutaway Guitar??
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS 25/50 AND OTHERS, to answer some of your questions.
We also have a photocopy parts list for this guitar from Gibson giving all the part numbers. We have found in our files a photocopy leaflet/Promo page for the original 100 hand made guitars that was given out to the dealers at the trade show 1978. Please see the photos. It reads as follows. (Both of these go with the guitar)
THE MOST LES.
Les Paul’s silver anniversary is your golden opportunity.
Fifty years ago Les Paul broke into the music business and began breaking it wide open with his echo chambers, overdubs and hit records. Twenty-Five years ago the Gibson Les Paul guitar began establishing its own records, becoming the world’s greatest electric guitar. And today, both are still creating Grammy award winning music.
Gibson is honouring its twenty-five year association with Les Paul by introducing the 25th Anniversary Les Paul Guitar. It’s the kind of guitar they’ll be talking about 25 years from now. But you have to order it by 31st December 1978, because it’s a limited edition model. In fact, each guitar will be serialized to make it a one-of-a-kind collectors item.
The 25th Anniversary Les Paul looks like a work of art. Its solid mahogany body has a beautiful maple top-two piece, book matched and highly figured. For the fastest calibration and perfect intonation, Gibson designed the exclusive new fine-tuning tailpiece. There’s a lot more brilliant Les Paul Sustain because of the brass nut and the solid brass studs mounted under the tuneomatic bridge. We’ve added more power too with Gibson’s new high output Series VII pickups. And there’s even more sounds thanks to the coil tap switch that lets you flip from humbucking to non-humbucking modes. It’s simply the most Les Paul guitar ever.
Invest in an anniversary present that’ll mean more and more, year after year. But you must order by December 31st. The 25th Anniversary Les Paul Guitar. It’s your golden opportunity to play the most Les.
Another quality product from Norlin.
7373n, Cicero Ave., Lincolnwood, Illinois 60646, 51 Nantucket Blvd., Scarborough, Ontario Canada.
That’s the end of the leaflet.
More Information below.
CATALOGUE NUMBERS AND PRICES FOR ALL 25/50 1978/1979/1980. After the limited edition models (Which were never listed in the price lists.) Prices are taken from original trade price lists, which we still have.
382283 Ebony 25-50
RRP. 1979 £813.00 / March 1980 £825.00 / August 1980 £825.00
382281 Wine Red 25-50
RRP. 1979 £783.00 / March 1980 £825.00 / August 1980 £825.00
382279 Natural 25-50
RRP. 1979 £783.00 / March 1980 £825.00 / August 1980 None.
382277 Tobacco Sunburst 25-50
RRP. 1979 £783.00 / March 1980 None/ August 1980 None
The original 100 hand made 25-50’s were approx 50% more expensive than this in 1978. This is when we were selling Les Paul Customs at £399.00 inc case.
You can see from above that, what happened was, by the time everyone realised that the hand made 100 had all been sold, people started to ask for the guitars, so Gibson made more 25-50’s in the above colours because of the demand, but at a cheaper price. I will not tell you how many of these we sold, just to say it was numerous.
We also have the shipment lists from Gibson on all guitars from 1961 to 1980, don’t know how we got those? And it includes the numbers of 25-50’s shipped, and not wishing to upset all those people who think their guitar is as precious as our one, here are the numbers shipped
Les Paul Anniversary shipments
1978/1106. 1979 /2305. 1980/None.
So in total 3411 25-50’s were shipped out, not including the 100 hand made ones.
You can see that the sunburst ones were sold out first, which was understandable, and for some reason the Ebony ones were more expensive than the other three colours?
I hope this bit of information helps with all the questions we keep getting asked, but if you need to know more, please start reading from the top again, or email me.