Jimmy Page’s 1969 Gibson Les Paul “Number Three”

Up until this day, details about this particular Les Paul remain unknown for the most part. It was first seen on stage around 1970 – which means that this guitar came prior to Jimmy’s “Number Two” Les Paul. It’s been guessed that Jimmy bought this guitar to replace his 1960 Les Paul Custom which was stolen in 1970 and that it was simply used as a backup in the early days.

The red Les Paul reappeared again in 1973 when it got significantly more stage time, but then it was put away again in 1975 when Page started using his Number Two 59′ Les Paul as a spare instead. Towards the mid-80s, Jimmy installed a B-Bender in it and started using the guitar again more extensively. Most recently, he used it on “Over Now” from the 1993 release Coverdale / Page.

Probably my favorite effect was the one used on “Over Now.” After David sings, “I release the dogs of war,” you hear this growl. I produced that by running my purple B-Bender Les Paul through an early-sixties Vox wah, a DigiTech Whammy Pedal set “deep,” an old Octavia, and one of my old one-hundred-watt Marshall Super Leads, which I used with Zeppelin.

Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page

Original Specs

Based on the photos, this guitar was originally a Goldtop and it has a pancake body, which means that it was made no earlier than 1969. Going from this, Goldtops made around this era all had either mini-humbuckers or P90s, so Jimmy’s Les Paul was not only re-painted but was also modified with full-sized humbuckers.

Jimmy Page's red Les Paul, as seen in the
Jimmy Page’s red Les Paul, as seen in the “It Might Get Loud” documentary. Notice the gold finish visible in the bottom left corner. Also, there’s an interesting screw-hole just to the left of the bridge pickup – if you have any idea what could’ve been mounted there, leave a comment below.

Sometime towards the mid-80s, Jimmy had Gene Parsons install a B-bender system into this guitar. Apparently, even though he liked using the system, Jimmy thought that routing out the body and removing large portions of wood negatively impacted the sound of his red Les Paul. Nonetheless, he continued using the guitar occasionally, even as recently as during the O2 performance in London in 2007.

B-bender system visible on Jimmy Page's red Les Paul during the Live in O2 Arena concert in London
B-bender system visible on Jimmy Page’s red Les Paul during the Live in O2 Arena concert in London – December 10, 2007

There are theories of another red Les Paul appearing in 1977, supposedly being some sort of a clone of this guitar. From the looks of it, there appears to be some visual difference between the guitars, but until we find some time to dig deeper into this topic, we’ll leave the alleged clone out of this list.

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Sandbag
Sandbag
5 months ago

This story doesn’t completely add up. ’69 Goldtop Les Paul’s had larger headstock than what this guitar has. ’68 Goldtop Les Paul’s had the smaller headstock. There is some crossover, but no way a ’69 has both, a pancake body and a smaller headstock.

Last edited 5 months ago by Sandbag
Gaspi
Gaspi
9 months ago

maybe the holes under the bridge were where the gizmotron used on the intro for in the evening was mounted