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When you search "Tom Murphy" on Google, nary a single guitar-related thread comes up. Every page is about another fellow named Tom Murphy who plays catcher for the Seattle Mariners. When you dig deeper and search "Tom Murphy guitar" you might find a profile from his hometown paper in Marion, Illinois that traces his story arc from his origins as a guitar-obsessed teen to his time as a Nashville sideman to his tenure at Gibson Guitars, where he was a project manager in charge of reissuing a little-known obscurity from Gibson's history: the 1959 Les Paul. Go further down the rabbit hole and you'll find a list of clients that will make your jaw drop: Jimmy Page, Dickey Betts, Joe Perry, Billy Gibbons, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, and Gary Rossington. Why do so many rock stars seek out Tom?
The Murphy Magic
The answer is simple: the man is a certifiable wizard. Facetiousness aside, consider this example: after Peter Frampton's famous Les Paul Custom rested in pieces in the debris of a crashed cargo plane for thirty years, Tom was able to bring it back to life and make it sing again. Some might chalk that up to magic, but it's much simpler than that. He's just a master craftsman who has honed his skills for decades.
As a professional player, Tom gained the sort of intimate knowledge of guitars that can only come when you're struggling to make a repair during a set break during a four-hour gig. He also saw untold thousands of real-life roadworn guitars, which gave him an excellent sense of what an aged reissue should look like. Finally, as a finish specialist for Gibson, he absorbed as much knowledge as he could from his peers. Because of his training and real-world experiences, his guitars look as authentic as can be.
Serial Number: 79971
Brand Gibson Custom Shop
Model Wildwood Spec by Tom Murphy 1957 Les Paul Standard
Finish Color Murphy's Gold w/Dark Back
Finish Type VOS
Weight 8.39 lbs.
Top Wood 2-Piece Plain Maple Attached with Hot Hide Glue
Top Carve Murphy Carve
Body Wood One-Piece Lightweight Mahogany with No Weight Relief
Neck Wood Solid Mahogany
Neck Shape Chunky C Profile
Neck Dimensions .910 1st - 1.020 12th
Fingerboard Rosewood attached with Hot Hide Glue
Fingerboard Radius 12"
Inlays Aged Cellulose Nitrate Trapezoid
Scale Length 24.75"
Width at Nut 1.69"
Frets 22 Historic Narrow-Tall
Binding Single-Ply Royalite
Pickups 2 Wildwood Spec Custombuckers
Controls 2 Volume, 2 Tone and 3-way Toggleswitch
Tailpiece Lightweight Tune-O-Matic with Long Stud
Bridge Non-Wire ABR
Case Historic Brown/Pink Lacquered Gibson Custom Hardshell