Mark Knopfler’s 1983 Gibson Les Paul ’59 Reissue

Mark bought this guitar in the early 80s from Rudy Pensa and used it on the Brothers in Arms album. This is the guitar that can be heard on the studio recording of some of Dire Straits’ most iconic songs, such as “Money for Nothing” and “Brothers in Arms”.

I could never afford to buy one from the “classic years,” so I got a reissue in the ’70s, and I recorded things like “Brothers In Arms” and “Money for Nothing” with that one, and I toured with it.

Mark Knopfler for

There’s some confusion surrounding this guitar, about whether it’s the 70s or 80s Les Paul. Apparently, the serial number of the guitar is #90006, which would place the guitar among the first batch of ’59 Les Paul Flametop reissues made in 1983. So Mark was likely misquoted or made a mistake in saying he bought the guitar in the 70s since most clues point toward the 80s.

Be that as it may, Mark’s BiA Les Paul was made during the Norlin era – which is often characterized by decreasing product quality. It features a one-piece mahogany body with a two-piece flamed maple top in cherry sunburst, nickel hardware, and most likely two Gibson “Shaw” humbuckers. The switch was allegedly modified so that the middle would connect the pickups out of phase.


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