Duane Allman’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Cherry Burst

Duane traded this guitar in September 1970 with Stone Balloon’s guitarist Rick Stine for his Goldtop, a Marshall head, and $200 on top of that. His only condition was that he keeps the original PAF pickups from the Goldtop.[Duane Allman: Memories from his Friend, Joe Marshall]

The guitar featured plaint-top cherry sunburst finish, and no pickguard (as was preferred by Duane on all of his Les Pauls), but it did have both of the pickup covers. This comes as a surprise knowing that Duane’s Goldtop didn’t feature pickup covers, and the pickups on this guitar were taken directly from the Goldtop as part of the deal made between Duane and Rick Stine. It’s possible that Duane simply added them himself after swapping the pickups, but this certainly brings an element of confusion into the subject. It is also possible that the pickups were swapped from Duane second Goldtop which did have pickup covers, but that’s just a mere possibility.

Be that as it may, Duane played this guitar throughout the rest of his career, most notably on “At Fillmore East” live album recorded in 1971. After his death, it ended up with his common-law wife Donna Roosman, and it was later given to Joey Marshall who had introduced Donna and Duane to each other, and who took care of the guitar until Duane’s daughter Galadrielle turned 21 years old [Galadrielle Allman, Please Be With Me, p. 119]. Galadrielle still owns the guitar to this day, even though it is mostly kept at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum for safe keeping. The guitar’s serial number is 9-1988 [Tony Bacon: Sunburst, p. 68]

Duane can be seen playing the guitar at the Fillmore East on September 23rd 1970. Image source: YouTube
Duane can be seen playing the guitar at the Fillmore East on September 23rd, 1970. Image source: YouTube

Only recently the guitar has been put back to playable condition to be used during The Allman Brothers Band final show on October 28, 2014, at the Beacon Theater.

Darek Trucks playing Duane Allman’s Cherry Burst Les Paul. Source: YouTube

The red accent on the finish has almost completely faded due to aging, and the pickup covers seem the have to been removed once again, which adds some more confusion the subject of what pickups were used on this guitar.

A more recent photo of Duane’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul. Photo credit rocor/Flickr
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Tom Halpin
Tom Halpin
3 years ago

This guitar (59 cherry burst) is part of the current Bill Graham rock n roll revolution tour. I saw it in St Petersburg, Florida on 9-29-18.

Justin Caskey
Justin Caskey
10 months ago

God Bless Duane Allman and The Allman Brothers Band. 🙏❤️🎸

Justin Caskey
Justin Caskey
10 months ago

I’ve shared names with this man since the day I was born. As a kid, I hated the name Duane. Even though I was told daily that “I was named after the best guitarist to ever live, Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band”, I never really understood the significance of it. Plus it was the 80s. Duane and ABB weren’t getting the Recognition the get today.

Fast forward to today. As an adult, I couldn’t be prouder to share middle names with my idol and my favorite guitarist ever, Duane Allman. Today I understand the significance of ABB & Duane Allman and his contributions to music. Today, I play the guitar because of Duane Allman. And it all comes back to 1 specific song: ‘Loan Me a Dime’ by Boz Scaggs w/ Duane on lead guitar. That’s the song that got me learning to play guitar. It also happens to be my favorite song ever. Duane’s playing in that is magnificent.

Justin Caskey
Justin Caskey
10 months ago
Reply to  Justin Caskey

As a kid, I was also told I’d never own a motorcycle. NEVER. I didn’t understand why back then and wasn’t told why. I mean, I was smart enough to assume it was because someone they knew died on one. But I had no idea that Duane and Berry had both lost their lives due to bike accidents. IMO, that was probably a large part of why I was told I would never own one. I had no idea. I didn’t know Duane had been killed until years later. That wasn’t something my dad ever mentioned when I was little.