Treasure Detectives White Les Paul - treasure detectives les paul - treasure detectives guitar - Les Paul's personal guitar


Tom Doyle - Les Paul's guitarman of 45 years
tells the real truth about The Gibson White Custom


Russ Paul "Les Paul Jr." confirms & authenticates
The White Custom from Les Paul's Autobiography




History is funny sometimes... Often there's more legend, lore, hearsay, fiction, and spin than actual truth to certain stories as they get passed around over time. That's certainly the case with regard to the legacy of Mr. Les Paul - one of the most creative, ingenious, and important musicians and inventors of this or any other time. Even though Les is/was a recent figure in music history over the last millennium... the man, his guitars, his contribution to music, and his influence are covered in myth... mired in misinformation and laden with erroneous fable. One man was there, through it all... the ups and the downs, the good times and the bad, the major discoveries and the foibles - and that was Tom Doyle. Tom was Les' close friend, confidant, co-inventor, ear, sounding board, and fixer for all those decades. Its been said before, but never was it so true - Tom Doyle was "The man behind the man".

While Les Paul was certainly more than a genius in his quest for his ultimate sound,  tone, and understanding of music and the instruments that it took to get there, for over four decades he relied constantly on Tom Doyle to make his guitars whole again after he chopped them to pieces in has mad pursuit of that sound in his head. Most people automatically assume that because there is a famous guitar with his name on it, that Les was a guitar builder, tech, bench man, etc., and knew how to build, repair and refurbish guitars. That just simply was not the case... he relied on Tom for that. Tom and Les worked on countless projects over the 40+ years together and Tom is nothing less than a walking/talking encyclopedia about all things Les Paul, Gibson, build specs, musical history, and knows more about guitars of all kinds than anyone you will ever encounter alive today.


This guitar was Les Paul’s Gibson White Les Paul Custom that had been made especially for Les by Gibson as a special gift in honor of their 50 years together (1952 to 2002). Les played this guitar quite often and experimented with it in the last remaining years of his life, and specifically had re-fretted to his personal tastes and spec by Gibson NYC. But most importantly and significantly… this is the guitar Les Paul posed with for the cover of his autobiography, “In His Own Words” just before he passed away!

"Had we understood at the time what this guitar was and how important it would ultimately be to Les Paul’s final legacy and its real collectable value, the guitar would have sold for significantly more than it did… but no one recognized it for what it was, with all that was going on. If there was one single guitar that I would have been able to bid on, and that I would have wanted to own, it would be this one”, so said the good people who directed and managed the auction.

Tom Doyle - Les’s personal luthier, guitar tech, engineer, and good friend of 45 years had this to say:
Tom Doyle -Les’s personal luthier, guitar tech, engineer, and good friend of 45 years “Les' guitar is certainly well documented and with it being on the cover of the book ‘Les Paul - In His Own Words’ you can't go wrong. It is hard to believe that some of Les' guitars went for so little, but in that way, it has been a benefit to you in this history connected guitar. To have Les think to use this beautiful white custom on the cover of his ultimate book is saying a lot. Les never did anything without a purpose, this classy guitar was a  personal endorsement to Gibson from him and Gibson did for his career. What a way to keep the Legacy alive. I would see him playing this white guitar at the house on some Mondays when I would come to pick him up to go to the Iridium. The other interesting thing is that Les would not mess up this guitar by chopping it up as he did with so many others. The reason I believe was, it was used for many  promo  pictures to come and some that were taken later as you have seen. Hope this helps with understanding just why and how this guitar became as important as it did.”

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