Serial number: #8 6799. Original 1958 Les Paul Standard. Never before published. A beauty to behold a Beast to play! Restored to original glory by Florian Jager. This guitar is not on display for sale, but as a museum piece and rare commodity for fun.
The Amsterdam Burst
1958 Les Paul Standard, 8 6799
This is the story of the 1958 Les Paul Sunburst that has become known as ‘The Amsterdam Burst’
The instrument was previously owned by a Dutch artist named ‘Fons’ who lived in Amsterdam his whole life and played in numerous bands during the seventies and eighties. This guitar came to us early 2018 through the brothers of the now deceased artist. It was in a neglected state and the guitar was quite damaged, but even though the strings were rusty and dull, the guitar sounded ‘off the charts’ so we knew we had something special in our hands.
We have been able to trace back the history of this guitar as far as 1972 when it was in the possession of a young Swedish guitar player who was a gigging musician in the Stockholm area. The guitar was spotted on stage by Frans Smit who, at the time, was the friend and drummer of the Dutch formation ‘Mouth and MacNeal’ who had a hit album in 1972 with Hey You Love / How Do You Do in the US Billboard 200 and in 1974 Mouth & MacNeal represented the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “I See a Star”, placing third to ABBA and Gigliola Cinquetti. The song became a UK top ten hit, peaking at #8.
Mouth & MacNeal were touring in Europe and in this case in Sweden in the early seventies (1972-73) and drummer, Frans Smit offered to buy the guitar he saw on stage from the young Swede. Whom decided to go ahead and sell as he allegedly needed the money to support his young family.
The guitar was kept in the home of Frans and Maggie, (whose real name is Sjoukje van’t Spijker) for two-three years until they decided to sell it on. Our Amsterdam Artist Fons bought the guitar in 1976 for today’s perspective relatively small amount of 5000 guilders. At the time however this was quite a lot of money.
Fons played the guitar for years on end during the life he lead in Amsterdam. Fons had his ups and downs and liked a drink or two and one time even the guitar was the center of a dispute between him and his girlfriend when the girlfriend decided to toss the guitar out the window. This is the moment the case gave way, but luckily the guitar survived although it needed some repair and was partly refinished.
When the guitar reached me at Max Guitar it had not been played for years and needed some serious TLC to get to the level it is now at. It did not look particular pretty being partly refinished but still sounded amazing! We asked our friend and top luthier Florian Jaeger in Munich if he would be so kind to restore the instrument. After exchanging some pictures Florian agreed to do it and, with his amazing craftsmanship, restored the guitar to be the original beauty it once possessed.
Florian uses some conventional and some not so conventional techniques to get the desired results. did some amazing touch ups (see f.i. the pictures of the headstock repair that I could not believe when I saw them.
The result is clear. The guitar has once more become a visually stunning instrument with a sound and playability that has to be experienced personally to be believed.
- Weight – 3,91 kilo
- Body Wood – Mahogany w/ 2pc. Flame Maple Top
- Neck Wood – Mahogany
- Fingerboard Wood – Rosewood
- Scale Length – 24.75″
- Nut Width – 1 11/16″
- Fingerboard Radius – 12″
- Pickup(s) – Original PAF Neck Humbucker restored by Andreas Kloppmann
- Currently holds one replica PAF (bridge) by Andreas Kloppmann, will be replaced by original PAF when this pickup is restored.
- Original electronics and pots
- Original pickguard and toggle switch knob
- Knobs, jackplate and jack output are replica’s aged by Florian Jager
- Toggle switch replaced. Original toggle switch in bag.
- Original tailpiece and a (probably slightly younger) non wire bridge.
- The guitar is refinished by Florian Jaeger in a warm Dark burst , original Gibson formula lacquer. Original lacquer on neck, original serial number present
- Refret by Florian Jaeger
- Small (ex miniswitch) hole restored by Florian Jaeger.
- Body repair work done by Florian Jaeger.
- Case – period correct Lifton Hard Case