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A Sixtieth Anniversary Gift for the Ages

Nary a day in the year nineteen fifty-eight without some sort of important historical event taking place. Congress formally established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the hula hoop was invented, and–to the delight of college students everywhere–instant noodles became readily available for the first time. But, as important as Top Ramen and space travel are, they were overshadowed by an event of such monumental significance that it relegated everything else that happened that year to the dustbin of history: the release of the first modern-spec Les Paul Standard!

Some “experts” might argue that launching the first satellite was “more important” than the release of a guitar, but these “scientists” and “historians” have obviously never strapped on a post-’58 sunburst Les Paul and rocked out through a half-stack. They’d think differently if they had!

You see, up until 1958, the Les Paul did not exist as we know it now. They all had gold tops with natural back and sides, and saying the words “cherry sunburst” to your average Joe guitar picker back then would have likely earned you a blank stare. Take a step back in time and try to picture what that must have been like. Goldtops are ridiculously cool, but imagine a world without sunburst Les Pauls!