Gibson Custom Shop Wildwood Spec by Tom Murphy 1958 Les Paul Standard - Gloss

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Louisville, CO, United States
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About This Listing

Murphy's Law
When you search "Tom Murphy" on Google, nary a single guitar-related thread comes up. Every page is about another fellow named Tom Murphy who plays catcher for the Seattle Mariners. When you dig deeper and search "Tom Murphy guitar" you might find a profile from his hometown paper in Marion, Illinois that traces his story arc from his origins as a guitar-obsessed teen to his time as a Nashville sideman to his tenure at Gibson Guitars, where he was a project manager in charge of reissuing a little-known obscurity from Gibson's history: the 1959 Les Paul. Go further down the rabbit hole and you'll find a list of clients that will make your jaw drop: Jimmy Page, Dickey Betts, Joe Perry, Billy Gibbons, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, and Gary Rossington. Why do so many rock stars seek out Tom?
The Murphy Magic
The answer is simple: the man is a certifiable wizard. Facetiousness aside, consider this example: after Peter Frampton's famous Les Paul Custom rested in pieces in the debris of a crashed cargo plane for thirty years, Tom was able to bring it back to life and make it sing again. Some might chalk that up to magic, but it's much simpler than that. He's just a master craftsman who has honed his skills for decades.

As a professional player, Tom gained the sort of intimate knowledge of guitars that can only come when you're struggling to make a repair during a set break during a four-hour gig. He also saw untold thousands of real-life roadworn guitars, which gave him an excellent sense of what an aged reissue should look like. Finally, as a finish specialist for Gibson, he absorbed as much knowledge as he could from his peers. Because of his training and real-world experiences, his guitars look as authentic as can be. So, we're delighted that he has put his signature touch on a batch of Wildwood Spec 1958 Les Pauls! For more about what makes these '58s so fabulous, read on!

The Origin of the Burst
In 1958, the men and women of Gibson Guitars had no idea that they were about to give birth to a rock and roll icon. Their flagship solidbody, the Gibson Les Paul Standard, had always worn a "Goldtop" finish, but they were hankering to go for a different look. What about a sunburst finish?

These new-look Les Pauls weren't an immediate hit when they arrived on the scene; in fact, Gibson sold less than 2,000 of them in three years of production before discontinuing the model in favor of the "Solid Guitar" or SG. By contrast, in 1959 the Les Paul Junior outsold the standard seven to one!

But, during the British blues explosion of the sixties and subsequent rock supernova of the seventies, the 'bursts ascended to rock and roll Valhalla after numerous iconic guitar players wielded the Standard as they played huge concerts and made legendary records.

Many of these players gravitated towards the 1958 iteration of the Les Paul. Mick Ralphs of Mott the Hoople and Bad Company, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, and Duane Allman all were drawn to the '58 Les Paul's chunky neck profile and understated, lightly figured top. So, naturally, we had to pay homage to these legendary guitars. We asked our good friends at the Gibson Custom Shop to whip us up a Wildwood Spec version, and they were kind enough to oblige us. We think you'll find the results of our collaboration absolutely stunning.
Capturing the Vibe
Whenever we do a run of Wildwood Spec Les Pauls, our primary goal is to capture vintage magic in a brand-new instrument. Together, Gibson and the Wildwood team pulled out all the stops and went deeper down the rabbit-hole of guitar nerdery than ever before. Before we get into the obsessive details (I swear, you've never heard anyone geek out about plastics as much as we did when these guitars arrived), let's talk about some of the design choices that make these '58s so Wildwood Spec-tacular.

All great guitars start with great woods, so our resident Gibson expert visited the Custom Shop to hand-pick each and every top and fretboard. Historically, the '58 Les Paul had lighter figuring than the flamed-out '59s and '60s. But, that doesn't mean that we simply picked some plain maple tops and called it good! No, we scoured for the most elegant, understated pieces of maple we could find. As a result, these luscious Lesters are sure to induce uncontrollable drooling every time they come out of the case. Of course, such high-quality woods also produce exceptional resonance and sustain.

Speaking of sustain: our friends at the Custom Shop then used hide glue to attach each piece of wood together. Here at Wildwood, we love hide glue the way Pete Townshend loves windmilling. It's a protein-based adhesive that promotes the greatest possible energy transfer between two pieces of wood. This results in maximum resonance and sustain, but it isn't easy. Hide glue is incredibly difficult to work with, and it requires a master's touch (as well as a tremendous amount of patience and elbow grease). The Custom Shop luthiers were up to the task, though, and their incredible skill made these guitars true sonic heavyweights.

Phenomenal Fat Fifties Feel
Though I could easily compose a hundred sonnets about the myriad sonic and aesthetic delights these '58s offer, perhaps their greatest feature is their neck profile. If you like your neck profiles chunky and rounded, it doesn't get much better than this! This shape gives you maximum leverage for bends all the way up and down on the neck, and its thickness invites your left hand to relax and play smoothly with precision. And the contour seems to fit the palm of your hand perfectly!
Boss 'Buckers
We also requested that Gibson use Wildwood Spec pickups in these beasts, and we couldn't be happier with the results. They have such incredible vintage vibe that you'd think you took a time machine back to London circa 1966 when you plug one in. They have all of the qualities we covet in old-school PAFs: warm, clear low-end, upper-midrange snarl, low-mid growl, and sweet, singing highs. The bridge pickup is as punchy, muscular, and articulate as an undefeated prizefighter with a master's degree in communication. Flipping over to the neck pickup makes you feel like you dove into a vat of melted artisan milk chocolate. It's warm, inviting, vocal, creamy, and righteously smooth.
The Legend Lives
We believe that these Wildwood Spec by Tom Murphy 1958 Les Paul Standards capture the magic of 1958 with exceptional accuracy (not to mention, you won't have to mortgage your mansion to get one!). We're proud to showcase them for our exceptional customers, and we know they will inspire any Gibson aficionado to reach new heights on their fretboard adventures.

  • Model: Wildwood Spec by Tom Murphy 1958 Les Paul Standard
  • Finish Color: Tom's Tea Burst Hand-Painted by Tom
  • Finish Type: Gloss
  • Weight: 8.86 lbs.
  • Top Wood: 2-Piece Plain Maple Attached with Hot Hide Glue
  • Body Wood: Non-Relieved Mahogany
  • Neck Wood: Solid Mahogany
  • Neck Shape: Chunky C Profile
  • Neck Dimensions: .920 1st - 1.000 12th
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood Attached with Hot Hide Glue
  • Fingerboard Radius: 12"
  • Inlays: Aged Cellulose Nitrate Trapezoid
  • Scale Length: 24.75"
  • Width at Nut: 1.69"
  • Frets: 22 Historic Narrow-Tall
  • Binding: Single-Ply Royalite
  • Pickups: 2 Wildwood Spec Custombuckers
  • Controls: 2 Volume, 2 Tone and 3-way Toggleswitch
  • Hardware: Nickel
  • Bridge: No-Wire ABR-1
  • Tailpiece: Lightweight Aluminum Stopbar
  • Tuners: Kluson Single-Ring Single-Line
  • Unique Features: True Historic Parts and Plastics
  • Case: Historic Brown/Pink Lacquered Gibson Custom Hardshell
  • COA: Yes

Product Specs

ConditionBrand New (New)
Brand New items are sold by an authorized dealer or original builder and include all original packaging.learn more
Made In
  • United States

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