Eric Clapton’s 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard

This guitar was first seen at the Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands, on April 23rd, 1983. It was seen again in 1985, on a photo of a collection of Clapton’s tour guitar taken backstage at Yoyogi Olympic Pool, Tokyo [Eric Clapton’s guitars – GettyImages]. and at The Prince’s Trust Rock Gala in 1987 (thanks George).

Eric Clapton played the Les Paul on While My Guitar Gently Weeps at The Prince’s Trust Rock Gala in 1987.

The guitar is most likely a vintage 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard, which Eric apparently liked because the neck shape reminded him of the Beano Burst (see comments).


Based on the photos, it appears that at least in the 1980s the guitar was almost in a brand new shape. We see a bright red finish on the outer part of the sunburst, which is as known as”tomato soup” burst in the guitar circles. This is reminiscent of the models made in the latter part of 1960, because before that, Gibson used a different type of finish that would fade very quickly, and go from red to orange, and even yellow in some cases.

We also see barrel knobs, which according to GuitarHQ replaced the reflector knobs on models made approximately after serial number 0 7000.

All this basically confirms that the guitar was indeed a 1960s model, made in the latter part of that year.


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11 days ago

This Gibson Les Paul was used frequent during the tour of 1985 and 1983. Clapton used A Roland guitar, this Gibson Les Paul, a Fender Stratocaster and a Fender Telecaster during these tours. Clapton who Started recording with Stratocasters in 1974 ( read his auto biography his first solo albums were recorded with a Gibson Les Paul, see page 179), felt he needed to go back to Humbucker guitars that he always prefered. The Stratocaster had by 1974 become so popular Clapton felt he needed to go with the rest. Something he later regretted. In fact Clapton was fed up with the Stratocaster by 1982, and signed with a company called Strings and Things. They made his first signature guitar : a Telecaster type of guitar with a Gibson Les Paul body. Clapton has used Telecasters on every album from 1963 to 2021. However he was in works with Strings and Things to make the most powerful Humbucker guitar ever. A year or 2 later Fender offered Clapton an enormous amount of money to sign with Fender. Clapton answered ” If you can make Me the absolute most powrful Humbucker guitar in the world I sign with Fender ”. Fender Suceeded in building the absolute most powerful Humbucker guitar the world has ever seen. Even today nothing gets close. This is the guitar Clapton has used since early 1986 and became the Clapton signature guitar in 1988. Despite its name and shape its absolutely not a Stratocaster ( Clapton himself says that in his auto biography). With its Stacked Humbuckers and 25 DB mid boost its 17 times more powerful than a Gibson Les Paul Humbucker wise with the boost om. With the boost Off it still has 12 DB mid boost, the same as the maximum Humbucker power in a Gibson Les Paul. Clapton according to his auto biography only used a Stratocaster for 8 to 11 years. From 1974 to December 1985 deducted with the years he was under contract with.Strings and Things.

4 years ago

This is a 1960 Les Paul acquired somewhere in the early 80s and according to him it has a very similar neck to the Beano Les Paul , you can see him play it on Prince Trust Concert while performing Gently weeeps with Harrison