Mark Knopfler’s 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard

Mark purchased this guitar sometime in the mid-90s. It was the first vintage Les Paul that he ever bought, and it quickly replaced the 80s reissue that he used during the recording of the Brothers in Arms album.

My ’58’s kind of a yellowish top, and I really like that – a pale burst. I’m not a big fan of all this over-glossy tiger-stripe thing.

Mark playing his ’58 Gibson Les Paul. Notice the orange path to the left of the toggle switch – it’s an easy way to recognize this guitar. Photo taken from An Evening With Mark Knopfler filmed in 2009


Mark’s Les Paul features an almost completely faded cherry red sunburst finish on a lightly figured maple top, and it was made during the time period which is mainly considered to be the golden era of Gibson. It was presumably one of the earliest models to feature a sunburst finish – a design change from the usual gold-top finish introduced in July 1958.

Almost everything on Mark’s guitar is kept in stock, except for the tuners which were recently replaced with Klusons because the old ones started losing their structural integrity.

Mark uses this guitar extensively live, even more so than his other 1959 Les Paul (often considered the most desirable Les Paul model). He first used it on tour for his solo album Golden Heart released in 1996.


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