Peter Frampton "The Phoenix" Handsigned #24

Peter Frampton Murphy aged 1954 Les Paul. #26 of only 36 pieces made worldwide.

GRAMMY® winning guitarist Peter Frampton's heavily customized 1954 Les Paul Custom is one of the most recognized guitars in rock history, having been featured on his massive-selling Frampton Comes Alive! album as well as many other historic albums in which Peter was a session player. Presumed lost when a cargo plane crashed in Venezuela in 1980, the guitar was returned to Peter in 2012, restored, and measured in precise detail for this painstaking, hand-aged re-creation–the closest you can possibly come to owning one of the world's most iconic Les Pauls.

New in 2015

  • Hand Aged by Tom Murphy: A Precise Replica of Peter's Own Current Day 1954 Les Paul Custom
  • Tom Holmes Pickups (3): Peter's Personal Choice for Tone
  • True Historic, Thin Lacquer Finish: Hand Wet-Sanded for Authentic Vintage Sheen
  • True Historic Knobs and Switch washer: The Most Authentic Vintage Replica Parts Available-Inside and Out
  • Hand Signed by Peter Frampton: Peter's Personal Stamp of Approval
  • Only 35 Available to the Public: A Very Exclusive Collectible

the Story Of The PHOENIX

Frampton was introduced to his 1954 Les Paul Custom in 1970 when, after suffering guitar issues on stage during a Humble Pie show, fan Mark Mariana loaned him the guitar. The ’54 Les Paul became an immediate favorite of Frampton’s and Mariana generously gifted it to him. Over the next decade, that very guitar was heard on some of Frampton’s biggest recordings, Humble Pie’s Rockin’ the Fillmore, Harry Nilsson’s Son of Schmilsson and Frampton Comes Alive! as well as many other seminal albums in which Peter was a session player.

 

The duo separated in 1980 when Frampton’s cherished ’54 Les Paul was lost in a cargo plane crash in Venezuela. Miraculously, the guitar was spotted on stage in Caracas then disappeared to the Dutch island of Curaçao. In 2011, through the cooperation of the government of Curacao and a local luthier from said island, Frampton and his guitar were reunited. Now nicknamed “Phenix,” for its ability to rise from the ashes, the guitar appears with Frampton on stage and in the studio.

In addition to bearing the battle scars of Frampton’s own “Phenix,” each limited edition Gibson Custom model features a genuine mahogany body and neck, an ebony fingerboard, a pearl custom inlay and the ’54 Les Paul Custom holly veneer headstock. The series stays true to the recognizable lamp black finish of Frampton’s guitar and features heavy aging, all while maintaining exceptional playability and tone.

FULL STORY

 

Peter Frampton sold millions of records with the help of a customized Gibson guitar. Three decades ago, that guitar was destroyed in a plane crash ... or so he thought.

 The story begins in 1970, when Frampton and his old band Humble Pie scored a gig playing two sets a night at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. Frampton says the first night was a rough go: The guitar he was using fed back at loud volumes and made soloing a chore. After the show, an audience member approached him and offered to help.

 "He said, 'Well, look, I have a Les Paul that I've sort of modified myself a little. Would you like to try it tomorrow?'" Frampton tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "I said, 'Well, I've never really had much luck with Les Pauls, but you know what? At this point, I'll try anything.'"

 The arrangement turned out to be love at first strum. "I used it that night, and for both sets, I don't think my feet touched the ground the whole time," Frampton says. "I mean, I levitated."

 That guitar — a shiny black number with an added pickup — became Frampton's signature instrument. He continued to use it with Humble Pie, and in his solo material, played it almost exclusively for years. It even made the cover of his classic 1976 live album, Frampton Comes Alive!

 In 1980, while Frampton was on tour in South America, the guitar was put on a cargo plane in Venezuela, en route to Panama. The plane crashed right after takeoff.

 "Basically I'm thinking, 'It's gone,'" Frampton recalls. "But the thing is, I'm also sitting in a restaurant where I can see the pilot's wife. She's waiting in the hotel for her husband, who, unfortunately, didn't make it. So we were all overcome, because people lost their lives as well as our complete stage of gear."

 What Frampton didn't know is that the guitar had survived, albeit with some bumps and bruises. It fell into the hands of a musician on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, who owned it for many years before a local guitar collector spotted it and contacted Frampton. After some negotiation, the guitar was returned to Frampton last month.

 "It's sort of a matte black now — it's not shiny so much anymore. The binding needs a little bit of work on the neck; the electronics need replacing," Frampton says. He adds, though, that he'll limit repairs on the instrument to "whatever needs to be replaced on it to make it just playable. But it must retain its battle scars."

 Frampton says he knows his diehard fans will be clamoring to see him play the unique guitar again, and he's more than happy to comply.

 "Oh, it's got to go on the road," he says. "For it to be given back to me ... It's not something I'm going to hide in the closet."