The famed 1954 Les Paul Custom “Black Beauty” formerly owned and played by the man himself sold at auction for $335,500 this week to Indianapolis Colts football franchise owner Jim Irsay. Irsay’s “guitar curator” Christopher McKinney placed the bid and came away with the iconic instrument. Speaking to the New York Times, McKinney summed the guitar up as follows, via Michael Molenda’s blog at Guitar Player:
We know the importance of the guitar historically. This guitar was used by Les in recordings, in television. It was his main guitar for innovations. It shows his thinking and progress as an inventor. A lot of the things that were done to this guitar went on to become industry standard.
Read much more, including the tale of the guitar’s controversial legacy, at Guitar Player.