That "Holy Grail" Les Paul is "just a broken-down guitar," says Paul's son

“And because they bought a $100 Les Paul Junior at a pawn shop when they were in high school, they’re experts.”

Except this doesn’t apply to George Gruhn, by a long shot.

The term “Holy Grail” is way overused in the collectibles market. The only “Holy Grail” electric guitar I can think of would be an original Gibson Moderne prototype from the 50’s, which, if it even exists, hasn’t been seen since.

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Jeez. Never have heard any of those guys play. Are they any good?

How do you know all that?

Seriously, how do you know all that?


Some interesting recent history, Guernsey was only 1 year ago deeply humiliated by the outcome of a guitar auction billed as a “remarkable collection of the worlds rarest guitars”. There were more than 200 vintage guitars, and Guernsey hired a “highly regarded” expert to do the appraisals.

The appraisals were bogus, and the outcome “shocking”. What that means is it was only shocking to Guernsey and the collector who owned the guitars.

Real experts, the same George Gruhn in the Wash Post article, thought the appraisals were extremely inflated, and the result was, surprise surprise: the appraisals were extremely inflated. Being an amateur guitar collected, I watch the auction live, and many instruments had no bid (including an acoustic Gibson owned by Clapton), and the ones that did get bids ended about about 20% of the appraised price. Even the attendance was abysmal, it was more like a morgue than an auction house.

In the Guernsey 2014 press links, you can see they claimed to have several “holy grail” guitars, just like they do now.

While it’s amusing to hear Steve Miller hope that some rich ass lawyer or something overpays for the black Les Paul, the reality is that the musicians and loyal people like Tom Doyle always seem to be at the s**tty end of the stick in these deals, and it’s sad.


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