The Les Paul Gibson Custom that the late-Les Paul gifted Paul McCartney in 1988 is now up for auction. According to Guitar.com, “Inclusive of its original hard case, the guitar — which is still in playing shape — will be auctioned off in July as part of Heritage Auctions' Guitars and Musical Instruments Signature Auction. Bids are currently accepted, starting at $40,000 and the auction is slated to conclude on July 17th.”
Les Paul had intended on presenting the guitar to McCartney when the Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 1988, but with McCartney proving a no-show, he had to wait until McCartney passed through Manhattan again and presented him with the axe on May 3rd, 1988.
Other than holding the guitar for a few taped promotional appearances, McCartney was never seen using the guitar during any live performances and it's unclear whether he ever recorded with the instrument.
Although Paul McCartney's first instrument was a trumpet, he soon traded it in for a guitar. McCartney explained a while back that although rock was seen as a rebellious and adventurous type of music in the 1950's, he was aware early on that every era — past and present — would experience both genres and performers that pushed boundaries: “It never felt rebellious to me. The music was never. . . I never thought it was rebellious. My dad didn’t particularly like it, but he’d had stories about how his dad didn’t like his music. So, my dad was very tolerant with all of that. He knew I had to do something ‘funny’ that he wasn’t going to like, so he was ready for all that.”