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2003 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul R7

Les Paul R7
** ON HOLD FOR MARC ** Have you ever seen that show on MTV called "Catfish?" It's a show about people meeting other people on the interwebz and being deceived on who they really are. The producers will find a person that thinks they are talking with a really hot chick, but when they go to meet them, it turns out to be a fat dude with a scraggly beard that lives with his mama. The show is basically about deception and that's where this R7 comes in. I'm calling this guitar "The Catfish."

There's a local guy that stumbles onto a decent guitar every once in a blue moon and he lists it on the 'net, so I happened to see this axe advertised for sale as a Brazilian prototype. I called Lee and said, "Hey man, old koo koo bird down the street has an R7 Brazil. You want to go check it out?" Lee said he would and the next thing I knew, this guitar was here in the Elk cave and I was bouncing around the room because I really thought we had scored a fairly rare guitar at a decent price (that don't happen very often these days. Everybody's a dealer, right?) So I get this thing cleaned up, photographed and listed on the interwebz. Man, I'm excited because according to my pea- brain, there were only a few protos made and this guitar is super special and it's RARE! Rare, rare, rare, rare and boy, we are gonna keep the lights on this month. I even had the sneaky thought that just when no one was looking, I was going to sell this guitar, buy a whole sack of Krystals and eat them behind the K- Mart where nobody can see me. Hell, I might even retire to South Georgia and open a used book store or start an okra farm. This guitar is gonna set us free to fame and glory...

Here's where the catfish comes in. My buddy up in Asheville, The Fabulous Mug emails me and says, "Hey Pimp. Looks like that guitar has 2002 specs. Might want to get your story straight. I sat here in my chair, slack- jawed and bewildered. "The guy down the street said it was a Brazilian prototype." I thought. Was it not true? Did we get catfished? Is it not so? Do I not get my okra farm? Come to find out, the ultimate fault is mine because I misread the Official World Known Last Word Final Last Straw This Is The End Brazilian Checker and indeed, this guitar has 2002 specs. It's not a prototype and it does not have a Brazilian fretboard. So, now I'm pissed. What to do now? Should I set the thing on fire? Should I put it in the front yard so everyone will know I have a guitar? I was virtually at a loss with what to do with the rest of my life and knowing that Lee and I had been catfished, I was awash in shame and guilt. Then, the sky opened and a beam of sunlight pierced my office window, illuminating this guitar as it sat alone one stand. A loud and booming voice said, "JUST PLAY THE GUITAR MY SON." and the clouds covered the sun again. I looked up and knew that the mission had been given to me. I tuned the guitar up, and warmed up Lee's '68 100- watt Plexi.

About a half hour later, Lee walked into the office and stopped in his tracks, staring at me. There I was, waiting on him in full battle dress with a large Rambo knife, camouflage paint on my face and holding this guitar. I simply said, "Plug this guitar into that amp and start playing." He nodded wordlessly and did as I requested (although it wasn't really a request) and off he went, playing the songs he so often does when we're checking a guitar out. I sat down and listened to him, searching for a bad note or a buzzing fret. There were none and after a while, I asked him, "Well, what do you think about the catfish?" "Great guitar" he said and we were done. This R7 had passed the mustard, so to speak and been found worthy of relisting on our website. While it doesn't have that magical wood on the fretboard that calls dragons from the sky, it is a professional- grade instrument that gets the job done, whether you're playing a wedding or opening for Slayer. One of the pots has been upgraded and now the tone is even more super Les Paul Goldtop variable. Questions, comments and requests are always welcomed, but there's no need for advice on how to catch fish. We already know how to do that...

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