Gary Moore’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Still Got the Blues”

This guitar (serial number #9-2227, nicknamed “Stripe”) was bought in 1988 with the help of Gary’s guitar tech Graham Liley. The previous owner was Phil Harris, who on Graham’s request came down to a studio where Gary was rehearsing and offered him two of his guitars – both late 50s Les Paul Standards. Gary ended up with a light-burst worn out ’59 Les Paul Standard – quite similar to the Greeny, but featuring a lot more accented flamed maple top.

If there was a Gary Moore Les Paul that was about Gary, – it was that guitar. Stripe remained with him until the very end, which I quite humble that I had the pleasure of selling him that guitar.

Phil Harris in an interview with Guitar Interactive

Gary first used this guitar on the After The War album in 1989, and it can be seen on the music video for the title song. It was then used on one of his perhaps best-known pieces – Still Got the Blues, and Oh Pretty Woman – on the 1990 album. Since then it basically became one of his favorite guitars, and he used it on nearly all the records up until his death in 2011.

The guitar is mostly stock except for the tuners, which were replaced with Grovers, and the original frets were allegedly replaced with bigger ones at some point by Charlie Chandler. All the electronics, including the pickups, are original from the factory.

Still Got the Blues

Regarding Still Got the Blues specifically, Gary played the guitar thought a Marshall Guv’nor pedal, a Marshall JTM45 amp, and a Marshall 1960B 4×12″ cab loaded with Electrovoice 12″ speakers. He strung the guitar with Dean Markley LTHB strings (10, 13, 17, 30w, 42w, 52w).

One of the guys from Metallica goes up to [producer] Bob Rock and says, ‘This is the sound I want,’ and plays him ‘Oh Pretty Woman’ from “Still Got The Blues”. Then they proceed to go through all these pre-amps and processors to achieve it. I felt I should write and say, ‘That’s not how to do it. You’ve got the money now guys, go out and buy a ’59 Les Paul, a Guv’nor pedal and a JTM45!

Various Sources Online – original needed
Gary playing Still Got the Blues live on the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard. Note that there’s no pickup covers on this guitar, which is an easy was to distinguish it from the “Greeny” Les Paul.

Ronnie Monrose’s Guitar?

Ronnie Monrose, an American rock guitarist, came out in 2007 claiming that this guitar once belonged to him. According to his story, it was stolen on October 20, 1972, and never recovered.

I was using a ’58 Les Paul Sunburst that I’d gotten from J. Geils. When the time to “switch” came, I put it on a stand like I’d always do; I went over and played bass while Dan played a white Strat. When I came back over to get my Les Paul, it was gone; there was just a strap there. That was in the days of no security, and I never did get that guitar back.

Ronnie Montrose – Motor Scooters and Rifle Guitars

Ronnie sued Moore, and according to the court filing, which you can see in full here, requested an immediate return of the instrument. Unfortunately for Ronnie, the case was dismissed due to jurisdictional issues, and the guitar remained with Gary. Ronnie passed away 11 months after Gary, on March 3, 2012.

Current Status

Allegedly, the guitar is still in possession of Gary’s family, but no official information seems to be available anywhere online. If you happen to come across something more tangible regarding the guitar’s current whereabouts, please be sure to leave a comment.

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In case you want to talk to me privatly, please use the contact form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. (Dan)

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