Jimi Hendrix’s 1956 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Fillmore West, Miami Pop)

Jimi started using this guitar around April 1968. The earliest photos date to April 5th, 1968 [Newark (Symphony Hall) : 5 avril 1968], which could possibly mean that this is something Jimi acquired at Manny’s Music shop, which is just a 30-minute drive from the Symphony Hall. At that time, the guitar seemed the have been used exclusively on the song Red House, and it seemed to have some sort of a white sticker on the top of the body.

The Les Paul was however most famously used at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East venue in New York on May 10, 1968 [Jimi Hendrix performing at the Fillmore East (Photo by Frank Mastropolo/Corbis via Getty Images)], and at the Miami Pop Festival on May 18th. Aside from these two, Hendrix apparently hasn’t really played the guitar that much, since it was spotted during only a handful of gigs around this period.

Jimi’s Les Paul Custom today

The guitar is currently owned by the Hard Rock Café International and can be seen at their restaurant in Chicago on 63 West Ontario St. According to the info posted on their website, the guitar was produced in 1956. At this time, we have contacted their memorabilia staff about more info on the guitar, but have yet to receive a response.

Hendrix Les Paul Custom, Hard Rock cafe in Chicago.
Jimi’s 1956 Gibson Les Paul Custom is on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Chicago. Photo by Jesse Thorstad/Flickr


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Charles Trevaskis
Charles Trevaskis
2 years ago

Where’s its case? It could tell some things about it.