Peter Frampton reunited with 1954 Les Paul Custom after more than 30 years

January 3rd, 2012

Gibson.com is reporting: A 1954 Gibson Les Paul that Peter Frampton played during his Humble Pie and solo days has been found after investigation by two Frampton fans. The guitar had been presumed lost in a 1980 cargo plane crash.

The Curaçao Tourist Board acquired the guitar and experts from Gibson Guitar confirmed it was, indeed, the missing guitar, long missing from Frampton’s collection.

Frampton was given the guitar in 1970 by a man named Mark Mariana at a Humble Pie gig at the Fillmore West. Frampton borrowed Mariana’s guitar for the show and afterward tried to buy it from him. “But to my surprise he said he couldn’t sell it to me – he wanted to give it to me!” he said.

Frampton played the guitar exclusively on Humble Pie’s Rock On and Rockin’ the Fillmore albums and his own seminal Frampton Comes Alive!, one of the top-selling live records of all time.

Frampton was recently reunited with the guitar in Nashville, Tennessee. He said: “I am still in a state of shock, first off, that the guitar even exists let alone, that it has been returned to me. I know I have my guitar back, but I will never forget the lives that were lost in this crash. I am so thankful for the efforts of those who made this possible… and, now that it is back I am going insure it for 2 million dollars and it’s never going out of my sight again! It was always my #1 guitar and it will be reinstated there as soon as possible – some minor repairs are needed. And, I just can’t wait to get Mark Mariana on the phone.”

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Comments

  1. Posted by william t branch on January 3rd, 2012, 21:18 [Reply]

    What an incredible story. Frampton comes alive has always been my favorite live album. To know Mr. Frampton now has THE guitar he played on that tour is just incredible. i only hope I can see him play it in person soon.

    • Posted by Richard on February 9th, 2012, 02:25 [Reply]

      clomedstarnan on January 21, 2008 I’m guessing she’s on her day off. She deserves a break from all that work. And so do the others.

  2. Posted by Mark Van Dyke on January 3rd, 2012, 21:52 [Reply]

    Great article, Peter just knows how to Jam!

  3. Posted by Nev Branson on January 4th, 2012, 00:57 [Reply]

    Is’nt it So Exciting & Completely Refreshing that Some one found the Honesty & Decency In their Heart’s to Give this Treasured Personal Item & Belonging Back & Return Such an Important Historical & Beautifull Guitar to it’s Rightfull Owner !
    I Just Wished All Stolen & Missplaced ? & Lost Item’s Made Their Way Home ! Like this Guitar , Now Somewhere In the World the Thief who Stole Mr Randy Bachman’s beautifully Laboured for GRETSCH 6120 & ( Family Loved 1 ) that is Still Missing & Leaving Pain in His & His Family’s Heart’s , is 1 Day Soon ?! Hopefully & Rightfully Returned to it’s Father !.

  4. Posted by Scott Bernard on January 6th, 2012, 00:59 [Reply]

    O.K. So, PLEASE someone make a documentary about this story. Amazing story!

  5. Posted by Rose Mary Milask on January 6th, 2012, 17:19 [Reply]

    Will like to share this with some of my friends

  6. Posted by Martin Macary on January 19th, 2012, 18:41 [Reply]

    Sorry but this guitar is not a 1954 Les Paul Custom. Humbuckers were not on Gibsons until 1957. 1954 Customs only had two pickups, a P-90 and an alnico.

  7. Posted by John O'Grady on January 21st, 2012, 03:12 [Reply]

    Fantastic story!! Kudos to the fans who tracked the ax down and arranged to have it returned to Peter!!! Frampton Comes Alive is my all time favourite live recording, and it often booms out of the speakers on our patio when we have folks over for bbq’s!!! Some dont know the album, but I bet I am responsible for some late catalogue sales or downloads from Itunes!!! Frampton simply rocks and no one jams like him. Get back on the road Peter and come tour Australia, we’re waiting for you man!!!!! You Rock!!! Sensational story….Im buzzin!!!!

  8. Posted by tony ireland on March 12th, 2012, 08:44 [Reply]

    Enjoyed the article, but Peter did not play on Humble Pie’s Smokin’ album that was Clem Clemson. Peter’s last album with Humble Pie was Rock On. I saw him him three different tours with them at the Filmore West and the shows that he recorded Frampton Comes Live at Winterland.

  9. Posted by JM on May 15th, 2012, 23:45 [Reply]

    Gibson should offer to do the restoration for free. He helped move a ton of those Customs – even when they weren’t so good (Norlin). Collectors of original 2-pickup Customs can thank him for encouraging guitarists to devalue their stock guitars by cutting up and adding that middle pickup. A great story, considering the guitar was GIVEN to him!

  10. Posted by George on April 22nd, 2014, 18:13 [Reply]

    Happy Birthday!! come to the Wellmont in Montclair!!

  11. Posted by Enrico Iurlaro on April 23rd, 2014, 22:34 [Reply]

    Great peter i love your way!!!

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