Jared James Nichols’ Early Les Paul Restoration Sounds Insane

April 30, 2021 2 min read

Jared James Nichols’ Early Les Paul Restoration Sounds Insane

If you’re a regular Thalia blog reader, you’re probably aware of Jared James Nichols. We published an in-depth interview with him a couple of years back, and are big fans of his incendiary blues-rock revival work.

Now, JJN’s making headlines because of an insane guitar restoration he’s involved with, featuring one of the first Les Pauls ever made.

As Guitar World notes, Jared is the owner of a 1952 Gold Top Les Paul that – to put it kindly – has seen better days. The instrument – appropriately nicknamed Dorothy – was literally caught up in the tornado outbreak that swept through Washington, Illinois in November 2013. It’s currently missing its neck, much of its hardware and has most definitely been through the wars.

As Nichols himself notes:

“On 17 November 2013 one of the biggest recorded tornadoes tore through Washington, Illinois killing and destroying everything in its path. This guitar was found in the front yard of a home in the rubble. It has not been touched since, there is still mud on it!”

“The original owner was found (it was her grandpa’s guitar who has long passed) and she gave her blessing to my new friend who has kept the guitar since then.I want to thank my new shred brother TJ Duckwiler from the bottom of my heart for hitting me up and gifting me this incredibly special instrument... He knew my love of LPs and P-90s of course. We talked the idea of this guitar being risen from the ashes and brought back to its former glory. It is happening!!!”

Joel Wikins, known for his work on vintage Gibson and Fender instruments of the period, will handle the restoration itself. According to Jared, the Les Paul will be fitted with a brand new, hand crafted Brazilian board neck. The project is strictly a restoration however. No refinishing will be done on the instrument, meaning that the what’s left of the original goldtop paintjob will remain.

Here at Thalia, we’re super-excited to see the result of this project. And, we fully anticipate that, once, finished, Jared’s new axe is going to have some serious mojo.

Reading about this crazy restoration has gotten us thinking; do you have any guitars that have been through the wars? What restoration projects have you undertaken on your instruments? What are the stories behind the instruments that you hold closest to your heart? As always, share your stories in the comments section and let us know the history of your best loved axes.



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