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OLD BLACK
Neil Young has owned this 1953 Gibson Les Paul since obtaining it from musician Jim Messina back in 1969.
Old Black, which got its name due to the fact that it began life as a goldtop but was later the recipient of an amateur black paint job, has been a headache for Young’s guitar tech, Larry Cragg. The old Gibson frequently goes out of tune and Young refuses to re-fret the fingerboard — but when the stars align, Old Black can still produce one of the most distinct sounds in the music industry. “It’s a demonic instrument. Old Black doesn’t sound like any other guitar,” Cragg once said.

OLD BLACK

Neil Young has owned this 1953 Gibson Les Paul since obtaining it from musician Jim Messina back in 1969.


Old Black, which got its name due to the fact that it began life as a goldtop but was later the recipient of an amateur black paint job, has been a headache for Young’s guitar tech, Larry Cragg. The old Gibson frequently goes out of tune and Young refuses to re-fret the fingerboard — but when the stars align, Old Black can still produce one of the most distinct sounds in the music industry. “It’s a demonic instrument. Old Black doesn’t sound like any other guitar,” Cragg once said.

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