Once described by Jimmy Page as “both his mistress and his wife…except it doesn’t ask for alimony!”. His “Number one” Les Paul is without question one of the most iconic guitars in the history of rock and roll.
Purchased from Joe Walsh (the James Gang at the time, and later the Eagles), in 1969 during one of Led Zeppelin’s early US tours of America. The guitar has been closely associated with page ever since, featuring heavily on the majority of Zeppelin records and live shows.
In the May 2012 issue of Guitar World, Joe Walsh spoke about the transaction, stating; “I laid it on him and said, ‘Try this out’. He really liked it, so I gave him a good deal, about 1,200 bucks. I had to hand-carry it; plus I flew there and everything. So whatever my expenses were, that’s what I charged him… I just thought he should have a Les Paul for god sakes!”
Due to a refinishing job commissioned by Walsh, the serial number on the guitar was removed, which has led to many a debate over the guitar’s year of manufacture. However, due to the neck profile, most concur that it is likely to be a late 59, or an early 1960.
Check out the video clip below filmed in late 2003, in which Jimmy gives us an up-close look at his “Number One” Gibson Les Paul, just before it was taken away by Gibson during their development of the custom shop reissue.