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do you remember the first real burst you saw in person? first burst you've played?

Strings Jr.

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Jan 17, 2016
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629
First one I ever held was backstage at an Allman Brothers Concert in Nashville, mid 80's.
They told me it used to belong to Duane. Danny Toler played it all night and it sounded amazing.

Second one was the one labeled as the First Burst at Carters.

 

Wilko

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Mar 11, 2002
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20,306
The first Burst I ever played was this one that a friend has owned since the 80s. Extremely light and woody sounding. A lot like a 335!

9_0927_full01.png
 

Steve Craw

Formerly Lefty Elmo
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
5,227
1985 I went to Guitar Trader in New Jersey to see THE lefty 1959 burst. It would be ten (or so) years before John MacEnroe would come to own it. It was in Japan for several years in-between, where it faded from a tea-burst to the very faded look it has today. While I was at Guitar Trader they laid at least ten other original bursts across the floor for me to drool over. I took these pics on that day in November 1985.

53890994_1200932640088491_4856557668933828608_n.jpg
 

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lewis_grey

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Joined
Feb 14, 2016
Messages
45
First time I held and played a Burst was a super clean privately owned ‘59 at a guitar show last year. It was a fantastic guitar but having played a good few other Gibson’s from the period it wasn’t any ‘better’ per se than those. In all honesty it just re-affirmed that from a pure players perspective my ‘56 Special gets me the goods and making the next jump on the vintage Les Paul ladder to a even P90 Goldtop isn’t strictly necessary....not to say I won’t do it one day!
 

GastonG

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Joined
Jul 25, 2001
Messages
1,376
This is the first burst I saw and heard, in 1968 when I first saw The Haunted (from Montreal)
http://dicitte.com/images/9_0313GaryMarcus_TheHaunted1968.jpg
http://www.dicitte.com/images/GaryMarcus_Haunted.JPG

Here at Guitar Trader in mid 80's : with a "wraparound" tailpiece (from a Les Paul Special I would guess)
http://dicitte.com/images/9_0313_atGuitarTrader_in80s.jpg
90313_in80s.jpg

:salude

p.s. The first burst I played was 9 0910 in 1976, and I bought it in 1978 from the original owner !
http://dicitte.com/images/9_0910_encore1.jpg
 
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GoldTopBunny

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Sep 11, 2018
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23
Never played one nor see one in person, only in videos/pics =( hopefully i get to at least see one in persona!
 

Known4tone

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Apr 23, 2015
Messages
134
The first Burst I ever played was this one that a friend has owned since the 80s. Extremely light and woody sounding. A lot like a 335!

9_0927_full01.png
I've played Mike's, too. Super light. A friend has a 58 I've played that's probably 2 lbs. heavier.
 

Bruce R

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Mar 2, 2007
Messages
981
I have played many 50's Goldtops since the late 60's, and once owned a '54 that had been painted black and humbuckings installed, but the first actual "Burst" I played was a clean late '60 belonging to a known guitarist/trader originally from Detroit a few years ago. He also had a very nice '57 at the time, so I got to spend some quality time with both of them one afternoon. They were both all they were cracked up to be, without a doubt, however a '56 with PAF's added in the 70's was the nicest I have ever played. Something about shape of the neck was magical and the guitar just had "it" to me.
 

Triburst

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Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
4,347
I may have seen some earlier, but the first ones I KNOW I saw that were actually vintage bursts were Jimmy Page's #1 with Led Zeppelin and the Taylor-Richards burst with the Rolling Stones.

The first one I ever held was Tom Wittrock's "Sandy." That happened at Arlington a few years ago. It was about 30 seconds after this picture was taken. (Sandy is the 1959 in the middle with uncovered zebras).
I was stuffing my camera away, and I looked up to see Tom holding it out to me with a big grin on his face. I was at once delighted, shocked, and overwhelmed. (Thank you again, Tom!) :salude
I looked Sandy over well, but didn't try to play it because we were standing up and there was no strap.

Pentax-007.jpg
 

jrgtr42

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Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
2,249
I have seen a couple but never played one. When I worked at GC in 2001 a 60 came through the door. It had a broken headstock. I didn't know the value at the time, all I knew is the boss lost his mind when he couldn't close a deal for it. I think they offered 30k and any guitar in the store.

Funny, I worked for GC at that time (well, avoiding work by selling guitars!) and we had one come in, though a totally different situation - One of the Burst Brothers was on his way to the Syracuse guitar show and had arranged a deal for it on the way (they made the exchange in the airport in Providence, RI, IIRC.)
Also a 1960 plaintop, though intact. I don't know what he paid for it, but they had it sold at about $90k, also IIRC.
I got a chance to strum it unplugged for a few seconds. It didn't blow me away, though maybe if I had some more time...
More impressive to me was an original '52 that we took in, probably paid around $3500 (also in 2000, 2001 or so) We had it tagged at $5k.
Even with barb-wire rusty strings on it, it sang like anything. It was gone the next day. If it had stuck around much longer, I may well have figured out a way to swing it.
 

Maxmc

Active member
Joined
Mar 15, 2015
Messages
642
The first burst I ever saw in person was the one in my avatar. One day way back in the early eighties, a friend of mine asked me whether I would be interested in buying her brother's old guitar. He lived a good three hour drive west from us on the south coast of Victoria, Australia, at a place could Warrnambool. He'd bought the guitar from a local farmer. My friend described it as a 1958 Gibson, possibly a Les Paul. She didn't know. I asked for some photos but months later they hadn't materialise. At this point the only vintage guitar I'd ever seen in the flesh was the odd L series strat and then usually a refin. Finally out of absolute frustration at not knowing what we were dealing with, I decided to head off early one Saturday morning and see for myself. We arrived at a little town just the other side of Warrnambool called Koroit and met up with my friend's brother and his heavily pregnant wife. They invited us into their home where the brother pulled out this brown guitar case and opened it. Inside was a fairly plain heavily faded Les Paul. He apologised that it wasn't a '58 but rather a '60, 0 0304. I remember at the time being slightly disappointed that it wasn't a 50s Les Paul. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers! It was not in good shape. The fingerboard had come away from the neck up to about the 7th fret and the nut was also floating around under the strings. This was not going to stop me from buying it though. We settled on a price, $1500 AU, I handed over the cash (all the money I had in the world at the time) and drove back to Melbourne with my new "project", wondering who I could get to glue it all back together. To cut a long story short I got it fixed up and played it for the next ten years. The few things I can remember that impressed me was that it stayed in tune! My experience with Gibsons up to that point was that they always went out of tune, more SGs than les Pauls. And that woman tone! It nailed that hands down like no guitar I've played since, Les Paul or otherwise. All I can say is I wish I knew then what I know now, thanks to this forum. It's back in America now, I know not where.
 

Bob Womack

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Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Messages
2,076
I can't remember the first burst, but I csn surely remember my first two vintage Les Pauls I played. The first was at the best local guitar shop, Lynn's Guitars, Knoxville, TN. Lynn Clapp was a kind-hearted guy who would accept a trade on anything, so there were always plenty of "old guitars" around. Lynn was also Chet Atkins' Gretsch dealer. Chet lived a few miles away in Sneedville and would come in to Lynn's to take delivery of new guitars.

lynnsused.jpg


See the wall of guitars? Those were the "old" ones. The new ones were in the adjacent room. I can't tell you how many times I pulled down a Firebird or an Explorer or '61 Les Paul (SG) or an "old" Les Paul to try out an amp. If you were kind to the gear Lynn didn't mind. You see, Knoxville was the home of "Olde Tyme" and bluegrass music and rock wasn't well regarded so Lynn's was the place where rock guitars came to die. In about 1973 I encountered a 1952 Goldtop with the "impossible" trapeze bridge there and got to play it. That was the first one and made me an absolute Goldtop fan, though I never owned one. Don't you wonder if it has been converted by now?

The second was a Les Paul that a friend's daddy bought him. Remember, rock wasn't well-regarded in my area so our favorite guitars were relatively cheap. In fact, my friend, who was the spitting image of Waddy Wachtel, had been playing a Jazzmaster when the Allmans made Les Pauls come into vogue. After getting his LP he couldn't find a buyer for the Jazzmaster so instead, at the high school talent show where his band played, he busted up the Jazzmaster on the school stage. I was appalled to watch that happen, to say the least, because I was playing a piece of crap at the time. My friend got in all sorts of trouble and had to pay to refinish the stage floor. But a few months later the band was out of trouble enough to play the next school dance and I got a few moments backstage with his 1954 Goldtop with factory Bigsby. He kept the fretboard afloat in Tone Finger Ease. I wonder if the inlays eventually floated away? His bandmate played a beautiful double-cut double-pickup 1959 LP Special that I was in love with. but he hated. His daddy had bought him a Marshall 1987 with a monstrous 6x12 Marshall cab. He eventually traded the special for a 'burst and got a 4x12 slant cab.

So, those were my first vintage LPs but in my ignorance as a novice I played so many 50s and 60s Gibsons that I can't keep track.

Bob
 

Known4tone

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Apr 23, 2015
Messages
134
The first time a saw a Burst, I saw 2 of them. Jethro Tull opened for Led Zeppelin in 1969. I'm assuming Martin Barre's was a 59. We all know about Pagey's. Even back then the word was out about "old" guitars sounding better.
 

T.Allen

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Sep 11, 2014
Messages
2,645
Somewhere around 2002 I acquired a dingy banged up vintage Les Paul, 9 0636, it had a fantastic neck pickup, loved it until.... I played a refined 57 or so ex Dan Toler Les paul, sounded like two guitars in one, amazing, made mine sound kind of dull in comparison, broke my heart. Ended up selling mine. I do regret it now.

Hmmm... I know this guitar well. :hmm
 

agogetr

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Jan 22, 2019
Messages
451
i have a 57 junior i got from the original owner with no serial number. have a pic of him standing by the christmas tree in 57. i heard rick neilson has a tv model with no number.
the first burst i 'remember' seeing was either montrose or richrath. actually i remember montrose had a sunburst junior. (and his strat with stars)he worked the e string key for the begining of bad motor scooter with the junior.it was awesome watching montrose. later a band canceled a concert and the unknown band filling in was called gama, out came ronnie montrose! looked like sammy hagar singing, not sure it was a long time ago. they rocked though.
the first 3 bursts i played in the early nineties i wound up owning. the darkishburst looking 60 with the headstock/neck crack flat out kicked and was the best of the 3.it was truly a great burst. i have an idea where it is, might try to track it down
It was the early '90s and at Lark Street in Albany, NY. I was still a student at Syracuse University.

I did a double take when I saw it hanging on the wall. I asked Buzzy "Is that what I think it is?"
He replied "It is."
"May I play it?"
Buzzy looked me up and down, paused and said "If you drop it, you owe me forty-thousand dollars." Then with one hand gripping the 'butt' of the guitar, he handed it to me over the counter.
I plugged it into a '59 Bassman and quickly decided that it was the best sounding and easiest to play electric guitar I'd ever experienced. It was a 1958 'Burst with small frets and no serial number. According to Buzzy it came from the factory without a serial number. The color was largely there and the flame was light, tight and evenly distributed over the top. It was not a flame monster, nor would it even be described as overtly flamey. I definitely wasn't a plain top nor even 'peek-a-boo'. It was in very good condition but needed a re-fret. I can't remember if the tuners were original or not but if I had to guess, I'd say they were.
I returned the guitar to Buzzy and thanked him for the enlightenment. He grinned.

I was a semi-regular (and harmless) tire kicker at Lark Street. Buzzy knew that I was a vintage guitar nerd and that I genuinely appreciated his instruments. I still appreciate his generosity in allowing me to play pretty much whatever I wanted although I never purchased anything. It was extremely educational.
 
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