Gibson, Les Paul Standard, 1959 - John Squire / Richie Sambora


Les Paul Standard
The Story Behind

This guitar had a number of prominent owners. Among them Cosmo Verrico (Lead Guitar ex Heavy Metal Kids) owned it in the past. In fact it was the first burst he ever bought back when he was about maybe 16. He bought it in a local guitar shop McCormacks in Glasgow for about £140 and it had just had a repair done on the back; like Gary Moore's Stripe it had been used by someone who moved the upper strap button to the back of the guitar. This never works well on Les Pauls and it tore out repeatedly eventually necessitating a dowel in the back. According to Cosmo it also had two double whites, at least at the time he had it.

It was then purchased by Stone Roses management with a huge advance from Geffen, and given to John Squire, who is best known for his time as the main guitarist of the British rock group The Stone Roses. Pioneers of the Brit-pop movement that ravished England in the 1990s, Squires career have also included a solo album and stints with The Seahorses and The Shining band, though he is without a doubt most known for his time with The Stone Roses, for whom he is playing again. 

This particular 1959 Les Paul guitar is featured heavily on The Stone Roses second album, and as such hold a big part of their iconic sound. 


A quote from Squire in the Dec. '98 GP magazine:

"When I was with the Stone Roses, I got a '59 Les Paul that I didn't put down between albums one and two. I remember listening back to the first album and being dissatisfied with my playing. A lot of things were approached in a layering fashion, and I think the whole thing was a little too lightweight - a little too reliant on reverb and choruses. I wanted something a little tougher for the second album and that was the Les Paul.”

When John Squire quit the band and the band decided to disband it was for sale by the Stone Roses management and was finally picked up by Richie Sambora, who bought it in 1996. He has since then been used it extensively by him, often pointing out that this 1959 Les Paul guitar is among his very favorite in his collection.


The 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Sunburst guitar series is by many viewed as the epitome of guitars. With no real competition to the title of most expensive guitar series in the world. Originally made as an improved version of the 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard, the 59′ version features a number of elements that set it apart from its older brother. Though the 1959 guitars were produced to help fix the declining sales figures of Gibson’s guitar sale, the 1959 models did not succeed. Only a few hundred models were ever made and in the years 1958-1960 less that two thousand Les Paul Standards were created. 

However the popularity these guitars gained with the most popular rock and pop stars of the late 60s and onwards ensured that the Gibson Les Paul Standards of that time, especially the sunburst models, have received an explosive amount of fame and recognition. It could even be said that the popularity of these models is what have helped Gibson stay in the guitar making business for good. A beautiful example of the famed 59 edition this specific guitar is less bursting than others of its type, giving it a truly unique look.

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