Here’s an amazing LP that has a fantastic tone, unique beauty, and has a big part in Kisstory. It was born as a 1953 Goldtop LP, that over the years had it’s conversion to be closer to a “59 Burst”. I bought in the late 80’s from my brother. The darker finish in one of the photos I shared from 1988, did not reveal the amazing Maple top. It originally had the conversion meaning the neck angle and routing for Humbuckers, one bridge PAF, and a non PAF neck pickup, and some parts were not from the 50’s. It also suffered a hairline neck joint crack, that was repaired. I had it re-fretted as well. I added the neck PAF pickup, and more period correct parts.
But it was Paul Stanley who introduced me to Tom Murphy, the premiere guitar painter at the Gibson Custom Shop that really did something amazing for the guitar. The relationship with KISS and Gibson was very good at that time, (remember we even played a NAMM event for them in Nashville) and it was possible to ask Tom to strip the older drab finish off and make it look closer to a ’59 Burst, something that is an art in itself. Tom Murphy’s refinish revealed all the amazing grain in the maple wood top, which could never be seen before! Since 1992 I always wished I had a COA from him! I recently saw him at a guitar show in Atlanta, and he gladly provided me with one. (Look for that scan in the photos I shared!)
So in my years in KISS, I am certain it was used starting with these recordings: From the 1989’s recordings of HITS, Revenge, and COS. I used it quite a bit on my solo CD “BK3”. My leads on Eric Carr’s “Carr Jam” track from Revenge, you will hear its distinct LP tone, that is special to a PAF loaded vintage 50’s mahogany body Gibson. It has a Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard, and a wonderfully comfortable neck. Certainly a player guitar, like a conversion Les Paul should be. It was featured on the cover of Vintage Guitar Magazine in 2010, as well as their December calendar of that year. Super sound, and super sexy. It’s an incredible instrument!