Legendary electric guitar inventor Les Paul’s personal Gibson up for auction

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. up for sale / ʌp fər seɪl / (idiom) – available for people to buy

    Our neighbors are moving to Australia next year. That’s why their house is up for sale.

  2. production model / prəˈdʌkʃən ˈmɒd l / (n.) – a type or version of something that’s produced in large quantities and sold to the public

    We released the production model for our new smartphone in January. Our target is to produce 15,000 units by June.

  3. light bulb / laɪt bʌlb / (n.) – a rounded glass container with a metal thread inside that produces light when connected to electricity

    Could you please replace the light bulb of my lamp?

  4. (one’s) crowning achievement / ˈkraʊ nɪŋ əˈʧiv mənt / (idiom) – the greatest and most important accomplishment that one has in his/her career or life

    Melissa’s crowning achievement was winning an international award for her novel.

  5. iconic / aɪˈkɒn ɪk / (adj.) – well-known and considered as a symbol of something important or impressive

    The iconic Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous landmarks around the world.


Read the text below.

A guitar that helped launch rock ’n’ roll is going up for sale. The “Number One” belonged to the inventor of the electric guitar, Les Paul. It will be auctioned on Oct. 13 by Christie’s in New York.

The guitar is the earliest approved production model of the Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. It is being sold by Paul’s son Gene. It is estimated to be worth between $100,000 and $150,000 (¥11.1 million and ¥16.7 million), Christie’s said.

“I’d have to say, what’s the Wright brother’s first plane worth? What’s Thomas Edison’s first light bulb worth? The Paul guitar, the Les Paul Number One, was his crowning achievement,” Gene Paul said on Sept. 30.

Les Paul joined with Gibson Guitar Corporation to invent the solid-body electric guitar in the early 1950s. It became one of the most iconic electric guitars, played by rock stars like Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend. (Reuters)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The Number One is the earliest approved production model of the Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, and it’s being sold by Les Paul’s son Gene. Do you think the original version of any invention should ever be auctioned off or sold? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • If you could own or keep the original or first ever version of any invention, which one would you like to have (ex. the first telephone, the first video game console)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • According to the article, the Number One helped launch rock ’n’ roll. Gene calls it his father’s crowning achievement. Do you agree that it should be considered as such? Why or why not? How would you describe something that should be considered a crowning achievement (ex. it’s the best among one’s creations, it’s recognized by many people)? Discuss.
  • What would you like to be considered as your crowning achievement? Why? Discuss.