Les Paul's Selmer (owned by Django)

adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
edited April 2011 in Welcome Posts: 541
I just came across this scan from the June 1991 issue of a magazine called "Guitar for the Practicing Musician." I hadn't seen this photo before -- John Paul Jones, Les Paul and Jimmy Page, in the early '90s, holding one of Django's Selmers!


More info is at



  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,257
    Here is Les talking about it at 0.21:-

  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    Posts: 768
    Hello Teddy!

    I wonder if Les Paul got that guitar in the States or in Europe when he went there to meet Django. The only Selmer in the States should be the one that Delaunay took for Django from from Maccaferi and damaged during the travel to the States. It was often told that Django sold that Selmer to an american guitarist before going back to Europe. I also wonder which guitar (Selmer or Gibson) Django played at the gigs in the Café Society Uptown at the end of his tour...

  • Posts: 4,713

    I came back to this thread because someone commented in one of my YT videos that he saw this Selmer in person and wondered what became of it. Then I searched the web and found a page with a part of Les Paul's guitar collection with this D hole listed there as Selmer. This can't be Selmer. It's atypical Selmers D hole shape and while I can't make out the label it certainly isn't Selmer. What's up with all that? Where is the Selmer and who would put this guitar in its place as Selmer? Or the description was simply meant to denote a style?

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • BillDaCostaWilliamsBillDaCostaWilliams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos, Altamira M01F, Huttl
    Posts: 628

    The Les Paul collection one looks like the label says Manouche and as you say isn't a Selmer.

    The guitar of his in Adrian's original post does appear to have a Selmer label

  • edited November 2023 Posts: 4,713

    That's the one. That's the photo Adrian initially attached but the link is now broken. Boy, look at those lines on the top... Cracks? Looks like Les had a pickup and controls put in and then removed it all and plugged the holes. Video where Les talked about it has been flagged for copyrights, that's a bummer.

    There's this from FB with a really detailed account from John Montelione who did a restoration on Les' Selmer

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    edited November 2023 Posts: 1,445

    Those opportunistic copyright claims are such BS...

    The guitar looks like it has been converted from a stratocaster into a Selmer ;)

  • Posts: 4,713

    And another site that has interview with John where he retells the story.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • BillDaCostaWilliamsBillDaCostaWilliams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos, Altamira M01F, Huttl
    Posts: 628

    Interesting that John Monteleone installed a trussrod in it apparently.

  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    Posts: 1,445


    So he [Les] cut a hole across the sound hole for a lipstick pick-up and drilled three holes into the top for controls ... And then the guitar just imploded

    What a senseless thing to do to any Selmer, let alone one gifted from the family

  • Posts: 4,713

    From this perspective, yes, my eyes popped too when I read the whole thing. But when Les received it, they were far from glorified instruments they are today. Even as such I doubt Les would've shied away from doing to it what he felt he needed. But this lack of respect for the existing and a desire to tinker is gave us a lot of his innovations.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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