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Les Paul's first custom guitar is up for grabs

Friday, January 30, 2015 - 01:38

The instrument known as ''Black Beauty'' is ready to strike a chord at auction. Alicia Powell reports.

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RESENDING WITH CORRECTED EXPLANATION OF HISTORY OF GUITAR. Owning a piece of rock and roll history is now possible as Les Paul guitar, "Black Beauty" is scheduled to hit the auction block. On February 19, Guernsey's in New York will sell the priceless instrument which Paul developed with Gibson, and took two years to make. SOUNDBITE: Arlan Ettinger, Guernsey's president, saying (English): "If this were the third or the fourth or the fifth like it and one or two others have been sold at auction, than you say, 'ok, before one like it brought X amount of dollars,' but that isn't the case. So it's anyone's guess." SOUNDBITE: Arlan Ettinger, Guernsey's president, saying (English): "He was always experimenting to get new sounds and to maximum the excitement of what he had created. This electric sound which really, many people suggest gave birth to rock and roll. That without this instrument would there be rock and roll today, it's that important." Ettinger says while the instrument doesn't carry rare or expensive features, the history behind the guitar is what makes it special. SOUNDBITE: Arlan Ettinger, Guernsey's president, saying (English): "Is it the most beautiful guitar ever made, clearly not. Is the wood any finer than the wood you could get at a good guitar shop today, probably not. But it's not about that, it's about this being the pioneering effort that made a difference, that changed the world in terms of music." Also included in the 15 lot sale is Chet Atkin's prototype guitar and equipment from Paul's studio.

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Les Paul's first custom guitar is up for grabs

Friday, January 30, 2015 - 01:38