While Les Paul remains deeply influential as a guitar player, perhaps his greatest legacy will be his contribution to the evolution of electric guitars. By 1951, Les Paul was a respected guitar player, and he was known as a bit of an innovator, too. He had experimented with the solid body electric guitar concept for years, so Gibson president Ted McCarty approached him that year to discuss a collaboration. The result was the Gibson Les Paul Model, which remains one of the most influential and forward-thinking electric designs ever conceived.
In the '50s, the Les Paul Standard model was a pricy guitar, so in 1955, Gibson introduced a simplified version: the Les Paul Special. With two P90s and a flat-top slab mahogany, the Les Paul Special has character and tone all its own. Its simple—yet versatile, refined, and effective—design made the Les Paul Special the original workingman's rock 'n roll guitar.
In 2016, Gibson did a limited run of the Les Paul Special model exclusively available in the Japanese market. This particular model was based on the 1957 spec of the Les Paul Special, and apart from a subtle difference in peghead shape, it very closely resembles the 2021 LP Special. Two P90s, wraparound tailpiece, Kluson tuners—it's a classic Gibson, and it was available in two finishes: TV Yellow or Heritage Cherry.
This 2016 Gibson Les Paul Special is the same spec as the Japan Proprietary Edition, except this one is a marked as a "demo" on the back of the headstock. Because it is a demo model, it shows some superficial play wear here and there, but it is very clean with no severe cosmetic dings/scratches, repairs, or other issues. It doesn't appear to have been played very much, so it feels more like new old stock than a used guitar. The frets are absolutely pristine, and it is set up with low action to be a true player. It includes its original Gibson gig bag.