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The Marvels of the Murphy Lab

There are 7.764 billion people on this beautiful ball of water and dirt that we call home, and hardly any of them know Gibson guitars better than Tom Murphy. Tom is a legend in the world of guitars, and instruments bearing his name have acquired a deservedly sterling reputation due to their outstanding tone, jaw-dropping looks, and stunning vintage accuracy. But, he wasn't always a rockstar of lutherie. In fact, he worked as a professional touring musician for many years, and during that time he became intimately acquainted with vintage guitars: how they sound, how they feel, and how they look. After deciding to stop touring, Tom got a job as a finish specialist at Gibson and eventually became a project manager in charge of the first reissues of the 1959 Les Paul standard.

For a while, Tom also gained valuable experience working as a luthier to the stars, and his client list included luminaries like Jimmy Page, Dickey Betts, Joe Perry, Billy Gibbons, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, and Gary Rossington.

Now, things have come full circle, and our friends at Gibson have handed Tom the keys to a brand-new institution of sonic savagery within the Gibson Custom Shop: the Murphy Lab. Tom and his team of skilled craftspeople have one mission, and one mission only: to create the most ridiculously awesome recreations of vintage Gibson guitars that the world has ever seen.

Step Into the Lab

Murphy Lab is aptly named because it is basically the musical equivalent of what happens when you give a mad scientist a laboratory fully stocked with warp drives and flux capacitors. With a plethora of resources behind them, Tom and his team have been able to create guitars that are essentially carbon copies of vintage Gibsons. They look, feel, and sound so close to the originals that it's downright scary.

How do Tom and his team achieve such unparalleled vintage accuracy? Well, first off, Tom has discovered a brand-new formula for nitrocellulose lacquer to use on aged guitars that mimics the properties of 1950s and ‘60s finishes to a T. Thanks to this thinner finish, aged Murphy Lab guitars look like authentic vintage pieces. They don’t just look the part--they are the real McCoy!

Of course, the heart of the Murphy Lab is the aging process. Part of what made Tom a legend was his ability to replicate the natural wear and tear found on distressed vintage instruments by hand-aging brand-new instruments. With his practiced eye and skilled hands, Tom artfully mimicked the finish and feel of old guitars, and he has imparted his skills to the talented team at the Murphy Lab.

Though Tom may not age each and every guitar himself, he has done a bang-up job of teaching his team the Way of Murphy, and they do a marvelous job of replicating his masterful work. As a result, each guitar looks like it came out of a time machine and feels like your favorite worn-in pair of blue jeans.

Junior-Induced Joy

Here at Wildwood, we love the simple joys of life: a hot cup of coffee in the morning, sunshine, a cool spring breeze, that sort of thing. But, we have a special place in our collective hearts for one simple pleasure above all others: a slab of mahogany with a P-90 capable of unleashing pure rock and roll anarchy. Needless to say, we were delighted by the Murphy Lab 1957 Les Paul Junior Single-Cut.

Playing one of these lean, mean rock and roll machines is the musical equivalent of doing a burnout in a '67 Camaro. It's so fun that it should probably be illegal, and it gets your adrenaline pounding! Despite the '57 Junior's preponderance of muscle, it's a versatile beast capable of excelling in many genres.


Brand Gibson Custom Shop
Model1957 Les Paul Junior Single-Cut - Heavy Aged
Finish ColorTV Yellow
Finish AgingHeavy Aged
Weight7.00 lbs.
Body WoodSolid Mahogany
Neck WoodMahogany
Neck Dimensions.920 1st - 1.010 12th
InlaysCelluloid Dots
Scale Length24.75"
Width at Nut1.687"
Frets22 Medium Jumbo
PickupsCustom P-90
Controls1 Volume, 1 Tone
HardwareMurphy Lab Heavy Aged Nickel
TunersKlusons with White Buttons

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Serial Number: 722091

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