Guitar Aficionado

New Book Celebrates the Les Paul Burst and Its Players: From Jimmy Page to Joe Bonamassa

Tony Bacon digs deep into the history of Bursts in his latest book.

By Christopher Scapelliti

The Les Paul Standards of 1958-to-1960 vintage have become some of the most valuable and collectible electric guitars of all time. Known as “Bursts,” these instruments have achieved iconic status, thanks to their tone, gorgeous woods and finishes, and a host of great guitarists who have played them, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Billy Gibbons, Mike Bloomfield, and Joe Bonamassa.

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Guitar historian Tony Bacon digs deep into the history of Bursts in his latest book. Sunburst tells the history of these guitars in words and with full-color pictures of guitars, memorabilia, and Burst players, including Gibbons, Bonamassa, Keith Richards, and Jeff Beck.

Sunburst also tells how Gibson slowly came to understand and more accurately recreate the original Bursts through its reissue program, underway since the early Nineties, and how the company’s first artist model, limited editions, and collector's specials have widened the appeal of an already legendary guitar. Sunburst also features a reference section that provides production details and identification clues for every significant model, new and old, of this revered instrument.

Sunburst is published by BackBeat Books and retails for $29.99.