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John McLaughlin's Les Pauls

fakejake

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
1,251
That may be some of the least musical guitar playing I've ever heard--sounds like some Berklee dropout trying to "blow" at the Mass Ave Guitar Center...

I'm afraid I have to agree....
 

deytookerjaabs

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,483
Off the cuff attempt at certain post-cool Coltrane-isms aside, JM has proven he can slow the **** down and write some cool **** along with melting well into hardly charted territory. I don't touch much anything done in the 80's regardless tho....that was a truly sad era beyond those who have their fond memories from being there.
 

emguitar

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
6
Awesome, wow!!!

Yeah, anything ya have to say about it I'd love to read. JM tore that sucker up albeit with the 80's tone vibe thingy all those folks fell into....plus the clothes, lol.

Is this one on burst serial etc?


Not much to add to what I already said. Not being a professional musician, I kept the guitar intact and play it when I can, which is always a great pleasure. I know some people may yell at me ... such a guitar should be played all the time, in expert hands and so forth... I understand this but on the other hand I worked hard to afford it, I respect the instrument and do my best to preserve it for the future generations. I'm not an investor or a speculator (otherwise I would have sold it a long time ago), just a guitars fan. Nevertheless if you are interested in some specific features of this axe I can post a few add pictures. I never exposed the serial number by fear of people misusing it so it is not referenced in any list as far as I know.

I have seen some quite negative comments on this forum about JML music and his use of the Les Paul. The funny thing is that I was not at all interested by his work when I bought the guitar. At the time, I was (and still am) a big fan of Jimmy Page, Free, Bad Co, Clapton and the likes, which is why it was obviously my 'dream' instrument. However, when I got this opportunity, I naturally started to listen to JML to learn how he had used this guitar. It is true that his music can be very disturbing or nearly impossible to understand when you come from the rock n roll culture as I did. But when you enlarge your scope and listen to the many different styles he touched (Shakti, the trio with Di Meola and Paco De Lucia, etc, etc) you can't miss that not only he is a technical virtuoso but he also has a fantastic feeling and musical knowledge. As his life has been devoted to explore new musical territories, inevitably some of these directions might have turned out as 'dead ends', but this does not reduce his immense talent. Thus when I listen to him, I try to go past the 'notes deluge' trying to understand what he wants to accomplish, because I'm convinced he is honest and never tried to overplay just to impress the audience... and if I don't get it, well it may just means that I'm not good enough....

my 2 cents
Eric
 

emguitar

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
6

No, this looks like a nice 59 or 60 335 Dot and I never had a chance to own one. That said, I know Hertz at Vintage Guitars in Paris has sold several like that. I made the deal almost 30 years ago (!) and I mostly miss a very nice 53 Telecaster that I had bought from Patrice Bastien (Magnetic France - does not exists any more) and a 345 bought from Hertz some time before the deal. However as I was ready to give up my last shirt to get this Les Paul, I had to part with these...
 

Rich R

In the Zone/Backstage Pass
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
4,998
I was asking because I got that guitar from Hertz around the same time you got your Burst, and I thought it might have been part of your trade package. I still have it, and to this day, that is the coolest vintage case I've ever encountered (the guitar ain't bad, either...)
 

emguitar

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
6
Awesome, wow!!!

Yeah, anything ya have to say about it I'd love to read. JM tore that sucker up albeit with the 80's tone vibe thingy all those folks fell into....plus the clothes, lol.

Is this one on burst serial etc?

After your comment, I had a look to the serial log and, to my surprise, the guitar is actually present with a picture. It is also present in another log https://www.burst-videobase.com/d with the mention :

8-6740 ... ex John McLaughlin .... for sale Paris guitar show mid 90's.....

The serial # being correct I have no reason to hide it anymore. As for the picture in the Forum serial log, I have no idea where it comes from and it's before I got the guitar. Despite this picture' poor quality, I can confirm from some body details that it is also the correct guitar.



 

emguitar

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
6
I was asking because I got that guitar from Hertz around the same time you got your Burst, and I thought it might have been part of your trade package. I still have it, and to this day, that is the coolest vintage case I've ever encountered (the guitar ain't bad, either...)

Cool. I always loved 335 although I never owned one. I had a 1960 345, traded in the burst deal, and some time ago I was able to buy a 1962 Cherry 355 from a friend, factory mono. This guitar is quite unique as it was a rare example factory equipped neither with a vibrato nor a stop tail but with a trapeze tailpiece. It was converted to stop tail a long time ago and thus there are absolutely no holes on the top, only at the end pin. In addition pickups have been replaced decades ago with fabulous 59 PAFs, including a Zebra one, that sound somehow like the 355 used by Gary Moore in the 'Back to the Blues' Album. As a result it is a great guitar but more on the 'player' side than on the 'collector' side due to these alterations... but it was also probably 1/3 of the price yours should call for these days... https://drive.google.com/file/d/1orV4udAyuV6mX7wZf4oAGdGdMOLYrCwl/view?usp=sharing

Besides, if I may ask, I noticed in your profile that you are from Colorado. How is that a Colorado guy bought a guitar to Hertz in the 90' ? The French vintage market, was,and still is, a very small one compared to US. When you add transportation and custom costs, there was less choice at higher cost than in the US, and most of the guitars available in Paris shops were imported from the US by a handful of dealers (Hertz, Patrice Bastien, Jacques Mazzoleni, A Duchaussoir).
Thus it is a bit of a surprise to see an American buying in Europe...
 

Anje

Active member
Joined
Jan 3, 2002
Messages
1,170
Very nice stories and photos Eric, thanks for sharing.
That stoptail 355 has a real unique cool player feel to me, with the mix of the exposed PAFs and the classy block inlays & Custom headstock.
About John, I have to admit I've never really bonded with his playing style as discussed above, but fact he was the very first "guitar concert" I went to with my dad & guitar teacher (who was a Jazz fan) when I was a kid and started to learn the instrument. I still remember how loud they were and how fast John was, shocked me at the time as I couldn't imagine how that could be possible compared to how I was struggling to play tens time slower :laugh2:
 

Rich R

In the Zone/Backstage Pass
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
4,998
Thus it is a bit of a surprise to see an American buying in Europe...

That's because I grew up in Paris, the most beautiful city in the world--and where my heart will always reside...:dude:
 

emguitar

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Messages
6
Very nice stories and photos Eric, thanks for sharing.
That stoptail 355 has a real unique cool player feel to me, with the mix of the exposed PAFs and the classy block inlays & Custom headstock.
About John, I have to admit I've never really bonded with his playing style as discussed above, but fact he was the very first "guitar concert" I went to with my dad & guitar teacher (who was a Jazz fan) when I was a kid and started to learn the instrument. I still remember how loud they were and how fast John was, shocked me at the time as I couldn't imagine how that could be possible compared to how I was struggling to play tens time slower :laugh2:

About the 355, I'm glad you say that because it is exactly what I felt when I saw and heard it. To a point that I broke my own rules for buying guitars... I always looked for guitars with soul and sound but original. In other words, never wanted to buy guitars that had been refinished, with holes, with replaced pickups etc... I don't mind if they are somehow beaten up - it means they have been played a lot, which is usually good (I have seen many 'mint' guitars with no sound) - as long as nothing adverse had happened to them. In my opinion a re-fret job is acceptable (what's the point to keep a great guitar that is unplayable because of dead frets ? ) as well as some replacement parts if they do not alter the guitar structure and there is a chance to put it back in its original condition: i.e replacement tuners without drilling new holes, nut, etc.. after all this is only maintenance as on cars. The stop tail conversion, if justified and properly done can also be acceptable. The burst and the 355 have been converted but in both cases I believe that's ok. On the burst it is barely noticeable and had probably been done at the beginning of the guitar' life as there is absolutely no shade on the finish. On the 355 there was no vibrato so no holes on the body. And of course, if the 335 are much more desired than 345 and 355 (that were supposed to be higher grade) it is precisely because they have the stop tail instead of the vibrato and were not equipped with the cumbersome stereo - varitone system...(although I have to admit that Chuck Berry, Freddie King, BB King etc... made wonders with these 345/355). On the other hand converting to stop tail a genuine Gretsch 6120 would be unjustified and pure non -sense (actually I don't think anybody ever tried to do it !!). Back to the 355, the pickups replacement, even professionally done with better pickups (original 59 PAFs) should have been a show stopper for me but I could not resist. With the stop tail and factory mono configuration it is as close to a 335 as you can get with a slight difference in tone because of the ebony finger board. Thus I broke my rule and do not regret it...

Here is a link with a Gary Moore quote about his 355 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SDf4Fqq_C0IyNN02nMQMFq-gBdjh4KFb/view?usp=sharing and playing it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVN9ckrREWY
 

david plues

Active member
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
868
After your comment, I had a look to the serial log and, to my surprise, the guitar is actually present with a picture. It is also present in another log https://www.burst-videobase.com/d with the mention :

8-6740 ... ex John McLaughlin .... for sale Paris guitar show mid 90's.....

The serial # being correct I have no reason to hide it anymore. As for the picture in the Forum serial log, I have no idea where it comes from and it's before I got the guitar. Despite this picture' poor quality, I can confirm from some body details that it is also the correct guitar.




here is the image - thanks to tom wilson

04%208-6740%20john%20McLaughlin's%20paris%20show%20m.webp
 

Redhod

Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Messages
498
He played a lot of guitars but I associate him with the black '58 LP Custom because that's what I saw him play in the Tony Williams Lifetime, first at Ungano's in 1969 and the next year in London. That band ripped like no other I'd ever seen. When he left Tony and started Mahavishnu he switched to a double-neck SG in the beginning.
On his website now he lists a '58 Custom reissue, said to be just like the one he played on Lifetime's "Emergency" album.

At the time I could not differentiate between a Custom and a Standard. I sure as hell could spot a Les Paul, though. There were a number of ebony LPs appearing on stages in those days. I still want one.
 

deytookerjaabs

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,483
He played a lot of guitars but I associate him with the black '58 LP Custom because that's what I saw him play in the Tony Williams Lifetime, first at Ungano's in 1969 and the next year in London. That band ripped like no other I'd ever seen. When he left Tony and started Mahavishnu he switched to a double-neck SG in the beginning.
On his website now he lists a '58 Custom reissue, said to be just like the one he played on Lifetime's "Emergency" album.

At the time I could not differentiate between a Custom and a Standard. I sure as hell could spot a Les Paul, though. There were a number of ebony LPs appearing on stages in those days. I still want one.


Hmm. Check the thread, seems consensus his black LPC used in that era was a rented '70 or so. Who knows, he did say in a recent interview the guitar he used a lot for that era was a Fender Mustang.
 

bern1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,157
Just goes to show once again that the actual guitar doesn’t matter as much as the player…..

But sure I clicked on this thread as well, always been a fan of IMF JM.
That Bitches Brew was recorded on a flat top guitar with a soundhole pickup is amazing if true…..though I have not listened to it in a long long time….
 
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