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Dave Johnson The "NIcky" Project Les Paul


Les Paul Forum Member
Nov 27, 2001
Back in 2014, Dave Johnson, myself and Charlie Daughtry worked on a project to replicate the finish on his original 1959 Burst, "Nicky". We worked for many months and did 2 guitars, one 2010 '58 reissue for Charlie and a '59 reissue for me that I sold right away. This listing is for the '58 that was done for Charlie and here's what he wrote up on The Les Paul Forum to introduce the guitar: "I am honored to unveil a project that has literally been months in the making. Let me explain: Mark,*Dave*and I conceived a project to replicate the color of my 59 burst Nicky. It was really a labor of love. For months, we traded pictures, pieces of stained maple, and generally just talked about the tiniest of details regarding the color of Nicky.*Dave*stained, and re-stained pieces of maple and guitars until he totally NAILED the color. After nailing the color,*Dave*made over two guitars...one for me and one for Mark. Here is mine; I'm sure Mark will chime in shortly. In addition to the color,*Dave*NAILED the aging. I wasn't going for the aging on Nicky. Rather, I wanted the "played to death in shithole bars" look. I think you'll agree that*Dave*accomplished that goal admirably.
Without further ado.....here are some pics!" Besides the finish, this guitar got a complete makeover that included: re-shaping the top carve, re-shape the neck, complete refinish with old style nitro lacquer with real finish checking and heavy aging, vintage style truss rod, old growth quartersawn Brazilian rosewood fingerboard that's just about black, real celluloid fingerboard inlays, rolled fingerboard binding for a well played-in feel, all sharp edges on headstock were softened, '59 serial number on headstock and original '58 serial number is stamped in the control cavity. Guitar weighs 8 lbs 12 ounces, new neck measurements: 1st fret - .890", 12th fret - .998". Here's a parts list: Set of Wizz pickups with aged covers that read: bridge - 8.18K, neck - 7.31K, I'm not sure what the rings are but they look good(maybe older Historics), TruVintage knobs, ABR-1 thumbwheels & posts and poker chip, Dave Johnson pickguard, CreamTone aged ABR-1 bridge and Kluson tuners, MSSC "Holy Grail" harness w/ real Bees. Guitar comes with original Gibson paperwork, certificate and black Custom shop case. There will also be a special Dave Johnson certificate that will be mailed to the buyer. More detailed tone report soon but I can say that it's a great sounding and playing guitar! (Charlie Daughtry wouldn't send a tone turd to Dave Johnson!!) Guitar is now listed on my site with additional pictures.