Continuing the 50th Anniversary celebration that Gibson’s Les Paul has enjoyed the last few years, we saw Gibson’s 1960 Les Paul Standard 50th Anniversary models today at Gibson’s surprisingly compact NAMM display today. Instead of just doing one version of the ’60 Burst for the 50th Anniversary, Gibson has elected to build three different versions reflecting the changes that were made to the Les Paul Standard model that year. Above, version #1, which is basically a ’59 spec with a 1960 serial number. See the other guitars, and Gibson’s full press release after the jump.
Version #2, which is reflected by the Heritage Darkburst and Iced Tea Burst guitars pictured below, has a slightly thinner neck. Finally, the ’60s Cherry Burst Gloss guitar features a slim taper profile neck, double band tuners, insert volume and tone knobs:
1960 was a year of transition for the Les Paul Standard
(including changing the name from simply “Les Paul Model” to
“Les Paul Standard”). In the beginning of the year, the Les Paul
Standard was a continuation of the 1959 Les Paul model, with all
the specs virtually the same. This included the same cherry and
heritage dark sunburst finish, neck shape, etc…
By around midyear, things began to change. Most no-
tably, the neck was in transition from the larger, rounder profile
neck to a thinner profile. During this transitional period, units
were produced with a unique profile that was generally thinner
and elliptical, but hadn’t made the full transition to the neck
profile you find on units produced in the latter part of 1960.
Les Paul Standards in the latter part of 1960 sported a
new standard “slim, fast, low action” neck profile. They also now
featured “double-band” tuners and “insert” tone and volume
knobs. Finally, and easily the most noticeable change was a
transition from the typical cherry sunburst to a brighter and
more colorfast burst often referred to as a “tomato soup” burst.
These 1960s Les Paul “bursts” were played by many
notable artists, not least of which was Eric Clapton who wielded
one of these storied 1960 “bursts” on one of the most influential
blues-rock albums of all time – “Blues Breakers with Eric
Clapton” with John Mayall often referred to as the
So, in a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1960
Les Paul Standard, the final year of production for the now
legendary Les Paul “Bursts” Gibson produced between 1958 and
1960, Gibson Custom is proud to announce three versions in the
spirit of what Gibson did with these fabulous “Bursts” in 1960.
Version 1: Exactly the same specs as the ’59 Les Paul
Model, but with a 60s serial number.
Version 2: Thinner “transition” neck based on painstak-
ing research and historical scans by the Custom Histori-
an and Engineering team. Additionally, Version 2 will be
offered in two “faded” colors: Light Iced Tea and Sunset
Tea Burst. These historically based colors are a represen-
tation of the natural fading that occurred over time of
the original bursts due to exposure to sunlight.
Version 3: This final version of the legendary Les Paul
Standard “Burst” features a slim taper profile neck,
double band tuners, insert volume and tone knobs, and
a recreation of the later 1960 Cherry Burst.
There will only be a total of 500 of these 50th Anniver-
sary 1960 Les Paul Standards offered in a blend of all three ver-
sions. All will be finished in a striking nitro-gloss finish and be
accompanied by a commemorative Certificate of Authenticity.