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50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul (Softcover) Paperback – April 1, 2002

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50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul (Softcover) + The Les Paul Guitar Book + BEAUTY OF THE BURST (SOFT)                                SOFTCOVER
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony Bacon is author of The Fender Book which has sold in excess of 60,000 copies. His other titles include The Ultimate Guitar Book, Classic Guitars Of The Sixties, and The History of the American Guitar. Former deputy editor of Making Music, Bacon co-founded Balafon Books and served as an advisor to the BBC/Tribute TV documentary "Guitar Legends".
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books; 1 edition (April 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879307110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879307110
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
50 Years Of The Gibson Les Paul by music author and guitar expert Tony Bacon is a superbly presented and succinct history of a classic model of electronic guitar invented by the legendary Les Paul and which was originally launched in 1952, going on to be favored by grand musicians throughout the last half century. Photographs enhance and illustrate this landmark presentation of the Gibson Les Paul's creation, and its prevalence in every decade to the modern day. A detailed, informative, highly readable and welcome presentation, 50 Years Of The Gibson Les Paul is especially recommended for the legions of Les Paul fans and electric guitar enthusiasts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barry C. Buck on March 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you love guitars you probably love GIBSON Les Pauls. This book will relax you through the dreamworld of priceless guitars in perfectly clear photograpghy and information. You won't put it down, I guarantee it. This is a 'must have' book to settle questions and just cheer you up to flip through it again and again. Buy. Love it. Enjoy it for life. DO NOT LEND IT TO ANYONE.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dave in PA on November 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Tom Wheeler's incredible 50th anniv of the Fender Strat book, I wanted to complement it with a similar book about the Les Paul. This book wasn't it. Perhaps it's because the Les Paul (guitar) story isn't quite as riveting as the Fender story, and that's not meant as a swipe. The Fender story is about Leo Fender and a few others building an empire. The Les Paul story, however, is more "corporate". There's less personal drama.

Tony Bacon does a decent job with the facts at hand, but I'm done reading the book, and I'm left wanting more. It's not a bad book, it will remain in my music book library. But I'm on the hunt for more info on the Les Paul's history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John I. Henker on July 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Tony Bacon books are always top notch: stunning photos, accurate descriptions and very well researched. This book is no exception. It is, however in my opinion, an excellent overview of the famous Les Paul guitar---not a resource book. At 160 pages it does a very fine job of detailing how this legendary guitar has blossomed into SO many different models over the last 50 plus years (up to 2001). Sticklers for details, however, will probably find it lacking in some areas (year by year pix and descriptions,for example), but then one would need a book twice as thick to serve as this kind of encyclopedia on the subject. I highly recommend it as an introduction to Les Pauls, and it will probably be all that most guitarists want to know about the subject. It would make a great gift!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CJ on August 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great book to have if you love the Les Paul. It's really that simple, although for the serious collector or afficionado, more information about dates & numbers would be good. As that doesn't apply to me, and the book delivers elsewhere, five stars, no question.

[...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tony Bacon has done a tremendous job chronicling the birth of the Les Paul in Kalamazoo Michigan to its' current manufacture in Memphis Tennessee. In an attempt to break into the market of solid body electric guitars (Fender had already introduced its' own in 1950--the Broadcaster which later became known as the Telecaster) Ted McCarty and Company put their heads together and came up with the design of the Gibson Les Paul. With tweaks and adjustments suggested by the guitar's endorser, Les Paul himself, this beauty of an instrument was introduced to the world in 1952.

Bacon does an outstanding job detailing the history of this magnificent instrument and it's evolution to the apex in design achieved by 1958. Ted McCarty introduced the Tune-O-Matic bridge in 1954 and Seth Lover introduced his amazing humbucking pickups in 1955 and both of these keen inventions were employed on the Les Paul guitar shortly afterward. The Les Paul guitars that Gibson manufactured between 1958 to 1960 (now known as the LP "Standard") are the most sought after electric guitars in history.

This book outlines the changes in ownership of Gibson during the LP years from CMI (up to 1969) to Norlin (up to 1986) to current private ownership (Juszkiewicz & Berryman) and production changes to the LP model throughout the years. Currently the Les Paul 'Burst guitars made between 1958 and 1960 are seen as the holy grail of electrics. As time rolls on and more of the 'Burst guitars are locked into bank vaults, players will be forced to re-evaluate the Les Paul guitars made during the Norlin years.
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By M. Rael on October 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You dont listen to Beatles songs to hear wicked guitar solos, and you dont by a Tony Bacon guitar book for deeply serious reading.

Like his other, similar format book on Fenders, this book includes sidebars noting news events happening in the world at the same time as Les Pauls were released. Its not a bad gimmic in itself, but can you imagine the Beauty of the Burst book doing the same thing?? Of course not (and dont even get started with why Tony picks certain news items as being important and others, not. Its not *supposed* to matter, which is fine, but neither do these books themselves seem to matter much.) Another gimmic Tony beats to death is having headings in bold print every few paragraphs that try to be clever or funny. He's written so many guitar books its as if he's decided that his style is as important as his content.

Tony Bacon has a new burst specific book coming out in February, and we shall see what he makes of it.

This book is nice.. the pics and text are fine-- Tony Bacon (by now) has gotten very comfortable writing guitar specific books and it shows. If you are nuts enough to buy Les Paul specific books, then this is the best one Bacon has put out. Its worth the money.. and you probably already own Beauty of the Burst.
The correct strategy seems to be buying up books like this, used, at a low price, and not worrying too much about the authors quirks. For around $5 its a bargain, and if it winds up in your bathroom as ThroneReading, then so be it.
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