1976 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe

2 minute read

The Dumpster Les Paul

I call this guitar the Dumpster Les Paul because I found it in a dumpster. I really know very little about the guitar and can only tell you the history that I know of.

How it looked for 20 years.

This is what the guitar looked like when I pulled out of a dumpster at my apartment complex in 1996. A tweaker that lived in an adjacent building went on on a rampage, destroyed his cars and was taken away. When I left for school that morning I saw a headstock that said Gibson sticking up out the dumpster. When I looked I saw that it was a Les Paul and that the body seemed to be in good shape. I had no money at the time but I figured there was nothing wrong with holding on to it.

What we found under the primer.

20 years later, I am with a friend when he picks up a new Les Paul. I mention that I have one but that it has no hardware. This friend likes to work on guitars and says to bring it over. He would be willing to restore it for the price of parts. When I got to his house with the guitar it was all primer white with the paint job on the front. As he started to strip the primer off we notice that it has a sunburst finish.

Man, look at that burst.

It looks as if the original owner tried to strip and set it up for painting and put the design on the front. I loved the look of the sunburst on the back and neck, but being a metal head I wanted to keep the paint job done by the tweaker on the front. We checked the serial number online to find what year and model it was, and the inspection stamp in the hardware cavity shows it was built in September of 1976.

Let's leave the tweaker mosaic spacey paint job.

As you can see the pickup holes were made bigger to accommodate modern humbuckers. Really all we had to do was strip the primer, clear coat, polish, and put on hardware. I am very happy with the way it came out.

My first Les Paul.

This guitar plays like a dream. I will need to get a fret job done one day. It shows signs that it was played a lot before it was so rudely discarded. I am really happy I decided to save this from the landfill.

To whoever threw this out 20 years ago thank you for the cool guitar and story to tell friends. And to my pal who did the restoration, thank you, and remember it will be yours one day.

Thank you so much Baman.