Collectible Guitar JulAug16 - Page 27

FEATURE CARTER VINTAGE GUITARS DISCOVERS ’58 GIBSON LES PAUL CHERRY BURST Eric Dahl  Walter and Christie Carter, the owners of Carter Vintage Guitars, were both well known within the Nashville vintage instrument community long before they opened their shop three years ago in Nashville, TN. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to see, hold, and play some of the incredible vintage pieces that have come through their doors that feature an SG guitar body for handles. It has also become a congregation place for “A” list musicians and collectors to visit as they travel through Music City. Recently I stopped in to have some repair work done and Walter introduced me to their latest vintage instrument acquisition, a 1958 Gibson Les Paul cherry sunburst guitar with original case, Gibson Care box, and photos of the original owner with it. As an author of twelve books, a Gibson historian, and Gibson Editorial Director for four years, Walter has a depth of guitar knowledge that is truly amazing (and he’s very humble about it)! As most collectors know the Gibson Les Paul Model guitar was launched in 1952 with a gold top finish, per Les Paul’s request for a finish that would stand out when he played shows. Apparently in 1958 Gibson started testing out new cherry stain finished tops and created two of these that were shipped May 28th, 1958 to their parent company, Chicago Musical Instrument. As it would happen, one of these guitars, serial number 8 3096, would fall into the hands of guitar icon Slash, guitarist for Guns N’ Roses. But the location of the second instrument, as reflected on Gibson’s ledgers, remained shrouded in mystery until now. The second test “Burst” guitar was routed to O.K. Houck Music Store in Memphis TN and was bought by the owner of the shop as a Christmas gift for his young son, the original owner. The serial number, 8 3087, and other artifacts such as photos of the 14 year old just months after receiving the guitar were sent to Carter for verification. This beautiful vintage specimen has a three-piece maple top, indic