Don Felder “Hotel California” 1959 Les Paul
The 1976 mega-hit single “Hotel California” is named on virtually every reputable list of “greatest guitar solos” that has ever been published. The whole truth is, though, that the entire Hotel California album is rife with scorching guitar work from both newcomer Joe Walsh and Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder and Felder played all of his solos on one outstanding instrument: a 1959 Les Paul Standard.
Hired by the Eagles in 1974 to help the band make the transition from country-rock to a heavier, rock-based sound, Felder brought it on in spades, and the tone he selected to do the job is unmistakably Les Paul fat, creamy and singing. In order to bring that sound, feel and look to a select group of players and collectors today, Gibson Custom offers the Don Felder “Hotel California” 1959 Les Paul, an instrument created in the image of Felder’s original 1959 ‘Burst in strictly limited quantities. Produced as a three-tiered Limited Edition, with 50 guitars hand-aged by Gibson Custom and personally signed by Don Felder, 100 hand-aged, and a further 150 given Gibson’s VOS treatment, each includes a numbered Certificate of Authenticity to record its status for posterity.
Hand-aged examples meticulously reproduce the look of Felder’s own ’59 Les Paul, while VOS versions present the gently aged look and feel of a vintage instrument. All are made with period-correct specs and components, including a pair of Gibson’s most accurate reproduction PAF pickups, and finished in a uniquely tinted and faded “Felder Burst” finish, formulated exclusively for this guitar. As rare and desirable as all ‘Bursts are, this limited run recreates one of the greatest, and a big slice of tone history.
The Les Paul Behind One of the Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time!
Like any great Les Paul Standard, the Don Felder “Hotel California” 1959 Les Paul starts with great wood. Gibson Custom selects figured maple for the two-piece top to replicate the look of Felder’s own iconic ‘Burst, and joins each set to a select, lightweight, solid one-piece mahogany back. Way beyond merely recreating the look of the original instrument, however, this maple/mahogany pairing perpetuates a tonewood match made in heaven: a best-of-both-worlds palette that gives you the perfect blend of maple’s clarity, snap and bite, and mahogany’s warmth, depth and richness.
A one-piece mahogany neck is glued in with the preferred long neck tenon for superior resonance and sustain, and carved to match the neck on Felder’s own ’59 Les Paul Standard. Taking all this tonal goodness to your amp of choice are a pair of BurstBucker pickups, Gibson’s most accurate PAF recreations to date. It’s all anchored with the rock-solid pairing of a Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, and topped with a set of vintage style green-button tuners. And with a guitar that sounds and feels this good, you want it to look perfect, too.
To get the Don Felder “Hotel California” 1959 Les Paul just right, Gibson Custom has painstakingly formulated a unique “Felder Burst” finish, which accurately matches the mellowed, sand-hued fade of Felder’s own ’59 ‘Burst. Reproduced in nitrocellulose in a hand-executed process that involves several steps, the results are then treated to either meticulous hand-aging by Gibson Custom (150 guitars, 50 of which also will be signed by Don Felder), or Gibson Custom’s acclaimed VOS process (150 guitars).
All told, it’s a guitar worthy of its namesakes: one of the greatest guitar albums of all time, and player who laid down the leads that helped to make it so. All guitars come with a black, plush-lined Gibson Custom hardshell case, a Certificate of Authenticity, and full owner’s manual and adjustment literature. Each also is covered by Gibson’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service.
Made from the classic tonewood combination of carved maple top and one-piece mahogany back, and dressed in a faded nitrocellulose “Felder Burst” finish atop a figured maple cap, the Don Felder “Hotel California” 1959 Les Paul embodies the original ’59 Les Paul on which Felder recorded all of his leads for the groundbreaking Hotel California album.
Neck, Headstock and Fingerboard
A neck made from one piece of solid mahogany is carved to an accurate, chunky, rounded ’59 profile and is glued into the guitar’s body with a deep-set long neck tenon, a joint known to aid strength and resonance. The neck is capped with a rosewood fingerboard with aged acrylic pearloid trapazoid inlays and 22 medium-jumbo frets, and its headstock is back-angled to the traditional 17 degrees.
Pickups and Electronics
A pair of BurstBucker humbucking pickups a BB2 in the neck and a BB1 in the bridge accurately replicate the tone and performance of the original PAF pickups in Don Felder’s ’59 Les Paul. They are routed through high-quality CTS pots for volume and tone, with “bumble bee” tone capacitors, and a Switchcraft three-way toggle switch, and a Switchcraft output jack.
Like most classic late-’50s Les Pauls, the Don Felder “Hotel California” 1959 Les Paul carries the legendary complement of Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, accompanied by a set of vintage style tuners with green “keystone” buttons and stamped-steel covers plated in nickel. Its strap is secured by Gibson’s traditional aluminum buttons.
|Top||2-Piece Figured Maple|
|Back||1-Piece Solid Mahogany|
|Species||Mahogany with Maple Spline|
|Profile||Rounded small 59|
|Joint Angle||4° (+/- 15 seconds)|
|Joint||Mortise & Tenon|
|Joint Angle Tolerance||+/- .005″|
|Inlays||Aged Acrylic Trapezoid|
|Other||Reissue Fret Wire/Tortoise Side Dots|
|Slots||Gibson PLEK System|
|Inlay||Mother of Pearl|
|Logo||’59 Reissue, .040 holly with Gibson Logo|
|Truss Rod Cover||Gibson Bell Shaped Molded|
|Model||vintage style with Green Keystone Buttons|
|Knobs||Gold Top Hats|
|Toggle Switch Washer||Cream with Gold Silkscreen|
|Strings||.010 – .046, Vintage Strings|
|Strap Buttons||Aluminum Strap Buttons|
|Neck Position||Burstbucker 1|
|Bridge Position||Burstbucker 2|
|Magnet Material||Alnico II|
|Potentiometers||2 Volume Controls, 2 Tone Controls|
|Type||500k Audio Taper|
|Coil Wiring||Parallel-Machine Wound|
|Toggle Switch||Switchcraft Three-way with Cream Toggle Cap|
|Output Jack||1/4″ Switchcraft|
|Case Exterior||Black Pleather Silkscreened with Don’s Signature|
|Case Interior||Maroon Crushed Velvet|
|Certificate of Authenticity||Custom Shop Felder COA|
|Additional Materials||Owners Manual Literature Lifetime Warranty Information|
Hotel California Sheet Music Signed by Don Felder