Arlen Roth and His New ’57 Les Paul Goldtop
I rarely talk about actual instruments I’ve gotten here on this blog, but my enthusiasm for this particular instrument has me barely able to contain myself! With a vintage guitar world that prices an original 1957 Les Paul goldtop at well over $100,000, it is so encouraging to see Gibson making a guitar of such undeniable quality, and which is such a joy to play. This guitar is a real achievement of excellence!
Did you ever get an instrument and not only be unable to put it down, but even when you are not playing it, you have to keep looking at it? Well, this one certainly does all of that for me. I have not been so excited about a new guitar in the longest time, and this Les Paul just has that special “something” that makes it many cuts above the norm in many departments!
I got the kind that has the “ever so slight” patina to it, with the nickel parts, which gives it a true “vintage and worked-in” feel, without going overboard and creating a “relic.” It plays so perfectly, they should “bottle it” and make it part of every instrument that’s ever made! The tone is absolutely rich and true, and it’s as if the tone woods were specially chosen just for this guitar! (Which they probably were!) I had the chance to first play a couple of these when I was first shooting a good number of my Gibson.com lessons, and was totally blown away by them. I can recall being a little upset that when I asked them to “hold” one of them for me, it was then lost track of. Well, I have to admit, this one is even better than that one, and the neck, the tone, the playability and even the “look” of this guitar puts it way over the top!
It’s also a lightweight “non-chambered” guitar, which amazes me when it comes to the broad spectrum of Les Paul solid body weights. After all, I have played and even own some that feel like heavy “boulders” compared to this one, but I am sure glad it’s so light. That factor will only make me want to pick it up, grab it, and play it even more.
This guitar is a masterpiece, and Gibson is to be completely commended on their creation. It makes the coming of this week’s Thanksgiving even full of more thanks for such a great guitar finding its way into my hands. I promise many great years of music will come out of it!
Gibson.com’s Arlen Roth, affectionately known The King of All Guitar Teachers, is music lesson pioneer and the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar.