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 assumption.

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 Roosmann, and it was later given to Joey Marshall who had introduced Donna and Duane to each other and who took care of it until Duane’s daughter Galadrielle turned 21 years old [Galadrielle Allman, Please Be With Me, p. 119]. She 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 [The Allman Brothers Band – Playing Duane’s Guitars – “No One To Run With”]. 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
1 year 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.


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