The author has received emails from people around the world with unusual LPs from the early-’80s that don’t correspond to a particular model in any catalog at that time, many having ’59 reissue type features.
This guitar may have been a prototype for some of the reissue style guitars to follow. It has the reissue format serial number (9 0732), thin binding in the cutaway, correct hardware, and a one-piece (i. With the exception of a few Kalamazoo-built prototypes or one-offs in circulation, all Heritage 80s were made in the Nashville plant between 1980 and ’82.
These have a unique sharp and wide cutaway at the horn, Grover kidney tuners, and an eight-digit serial number with four-digit number beneath it.
The result, the KM model, is a nice guitar but does not come close to a ’59 reissue. The guitar has an unusually wide headstock and a volute and three-piece mahogany neck.
The guitar has exposed-coil, double-cream, T-top humbuckers, speed knobs, large, black side dot markers, a Nashville bridge, stop tailpiece, Grover tuners, wide binding in the cutaway, brown backplates, and “Les Paul K. The Gibson logo on the headstock has a closed “b” and “o,” and no dot above the “i.
Many examples of this model in Bright Cherry Sunburst or Dark Sunburst have been available, many with plain tops.
Some flametops were reportedly made, such as the example shown, many of which were shipped to Japan.
The only way to authenticate a Strings and Things reissue would be to find one that comes with a certificate or invoice from Strings and Things during the 1975-’78 time period.
It continues to be an intriguing yet elusive quest for the Holy Grail.
The Les Paul KM model was made in the Kalamazoo plant in 1979, supposedly at the request of a southern sales district, according to one account (this history is refuted by another account).