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Ready for a London Les Paul? Gibson at Red Dog Music Clapham!

Ready for a London Les Paul? Gibson at Red Dog Music Clapham!

There’s not really much that needs saying about the Gibson Les Paul, is there? Surely you’ve read countless references to its ‘iconic’ status in the big wide world of musical history. You’ll know all the countless, classic riffs that were played on the single-cutaway rock legend, but this isn’t about that.

This is simply about the fact that, if you’re anything like me, you just love the Gibson Les Paul. And now, with a proud new wall of them hanging at Red Dog Music in Clapham, you can get yourself a fancy new London Les Paul.

Gibson Les Paul at Red Dog Music London

The London Les Paul

London has quite an association with the Gibson Les Paul. While you might think of Freddie King with his goldtop,  maybe Slash or perhaps even Neil Young’s ‘Old Black’, London is the ‘true’ home of the Gibson Les Paul. Without London in fact, the Les Paul may not be around.

Discontinued in 1961 due to steadily declining sales, the Gibson Les Paul was unloved and replaced by the more ‘futuristic’ looking SG. However, the players of the London scene put it right back on the map.

The beginnings of the London Les Paul?

From the Bluesbreakers “Clapton is God” era, Peter Green, Paul Kossoff, Pete Townshend, Steve Jones, Mick Ronson hooking up with David Bowie and, of course, Jimmy Page, London put the Les Paul right back on the music-making map and, by the late sixties, the Les Paul was back in production, and it has been ever since.

A great home for Gibson guitars in London

I’m a big fan of most Gibsons, but since discovering the wonderful world of the electric guitar, I’ve always been a bit of a Les Paul fanboy. It took me a good few years of drooling, but I remember finally taking a – my – London Les Paul home on the Northern Line, back to Waterloo Station to take back home. It was a Saturday. That first night, while having one last look at it before bedtime, I managed to let the lid of the case fall on it as I was tucking ‘her’ in for the night.

Pete Townshend with a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop

I also remember slamming the headstock into the doorframe while walking from the living room into the kitchen. The doorframe lost that battle.

My London Les Paul has been with me for indie rock covers gigs, my discovery of the Beano album and my brief excursion into supporting soundscapes for ambient electronica, and it remains with me to this day, occasionally providing a chord progression or wee lick for a deep house tune, but mostly just for picking up of an evening, sitting in my fairly cheap and well-travelled IKEA recliner (I believe it is the Malung) and bashing out some prosaic blues lines.

My London Les Paul is still the first guitar I pick up when I get a bit of guitar playing time, and still the one that sits on the stand ready to quickly pick up and play, rather than being kept in its case.

Gibson Les Paul '58 VOS at Red Dog Music London in Clapham

She’s starting to lose a little bit of her shine now, and there’s a bit more buckle rash appearing on the back, but that’s just a sign of maturity, she’s 13 now…

Yes, the Les Paul is pretty heavy, and lacks the body-comfort contours of ‘some other’ electric guitars and maybe the tone can be so thick as to require a bit of extra work to fit into a crowded mix, but there’s just something about it that sometimes makes you just play it in a different way.. a certain, I don’t know, something

Anyway, before I anthropomorphise or romanticise any more, I’ll leave things there and just say that from goldtop to sunburst, LPJ to Custom Shop, Standard to Traditional, there is a Les Paul in London to suit you and you’ll know that, when you get your Gibson Les Paul in London, that you’re part of the ‘real’ history of the Les Paul!

Gibson Les Paul Goldtop


Red Dog Music is the UK’s friendliest musical instrument and pro-audio dealer. Between our 5000 square foot Edinburgh shop filled with an incredible range of products, and a London showroom in Clapham specialising in high-end instruments, dj and pro-audio, Red Dog Music has you covered from north to south and from performance to playback.

About The Author

Red Dog Music

Dawsons Music is delighted to announce that the Red Dog Music brand is now part of the Dawsons family. This is an exciting opportunity to bring both communities together and create a stronger, wider network of people passionate about music gear. We both share a common heritage to support musicians throughout the UK and Dawsons want to support Red Dog Music customers in their continued musical journey.

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