Mark Knopfler’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard

This is Mark’s second vintage Gibson Les Paul guitar. Although considered by many to be the more desirable of the two, Mark actually uses his ’58 Les Paul more often than this one. It’s not clear when exactly he bought this guitar, but presumably, it was around the same time as his other Les Paul – so mid to late 90s.

Mark playing his 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard on
Mark playing his 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard on “Song for Sonny Liston” during An Evening with Mark Knopfler concert in 2009.

The guitar features a lot less faded finish when compared to his 58 Les Paul, so the two can easily be easily distinguished if you know where to look.

Basically, all of the late 50s Les Pauls originally featured similar cherry red sunburst finish, but due to the use of ultra-violet sensitive dye on some of them, lots of those guitars lost their original red accents mostly due to exposure to the sun. Mark’s ’59 Les Paul got to keep most of that original red finish, while his ’58 is almost completely free from it – except for that small patch of red around the toggle switch.

Usually, Mark uses this guitar live for “Song for Sonny Liston”.


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