first, let me tell everyone before you ask, pictures coming when my friend emails them to me  three sets of pictures are now loaded in the thread below I started the day going to a music store called "SAM ash" out here in new York my mission; pick up the nicest Les Paul guitar made by Gibson in America that I could find for under 2000 bucks...preferably an old and vintage model, but if need be, a new. I walked into the store and was inundated with Les Paul's of all themes...there was a "corvette" Les Paul, a "50's" Les Paul, and Les Paul's up the kazoo played by bands and guitarists like Leonard skinnard and tons f other famous guitarists. all of these guitars ranged from 4 to over ten thousand dollars, and to be honest, they all seemed worth the price but it was more then I wanted to spend I ask the salesman where the new guitars are, because I think they will be less expensive, and the salesman says "we aren't a Gibson dealer anymore, we don't have new" I say to myself; *damn it* he points me to a whole room of used Les pauls...some from Epiphone, some from other companies, with the Gibson's in a wall away from the others and all by themselves. the Gibson's are MUCH nicer then any other Les Paul, much better built, much better sounding, far more desirable. ah me, most of these are over 3000 dollars, but my eye is drawn to the one that I think is far and away the nicest guitar in the room, this one is only 2400 dollars and I CAN'T believe it. I think if I give cash, I can get it for two including tax, and I ask no, the best I can do is 2400 including tax and case...this one is only about 4 years old and that's why it's not as expensive as the rest even though it's a better looking instrument I'm thinking I'm gonna get this guitar, and just as I am about to make up my mind, there is an even nicer piece of wood with a dark dark zebra grain, yellow ivory band, and "bookend" grain (which means the grain was matched when assembled, a rare piece indeed)...it's sort of hiding behind some other stuff and wasn't showing with all the rest which is almost definately why it was still on the wall, it is too nice. this guitar was only 1600 bucks!...what's up with THAT? (this one is only two years old, that's the reason) I ask a few musicians to play the Axe cuz I can't believe the price, they all jump at the opportunity, they all love the frigging guitar, everyone said it was easily one of the nicest Les Paul's they've seen. mine...bing...1500 including tax, case, strap, picks....score! me and my childhood friend named Mike, someone I know since I'm 5 years old head to Manhattan, a club called the Iridium where we have dinner and show reservations...it's first come first serve for seat location even though you have reservations, we got there about an hour early and we get right up at the stage...a VERY small room and there is not a bad seat in the house...still, mine is the best seat with Les Paul looking over and seeming as if he wants my approval or takes takes pride in my joy. what an entertainer, I think he made everyone feel exactly how I felt, that he was performing for me show...excellant...les Paul has young musicians come up and jam with him, he has tons of fun, he's still great with impeccable style and timing, his band is uncanny...an acoustic base, an incredible rhythm guitarist and one of the cleanest, fastest pianists I have ever ever seen wow dinner was excellent, I had the fillet mignon...perfect...not bad price either, Mike had the salmon whcih was moist and very nice...dinner and drinks for the two of us was 180 dollars including show. I find out from the waitress Les only signs after the second show, we were there for the first...she also tells me he hasn't done it in a few months because he gets tired and has to go home. I'm disappointed, but still, the show is incredible. I talk my friend into staying for the second show, just in case I can get Les to sign, Mike agrees in all of one second. well, I start talking with the musicians between the shows and they are all sweethearts, jay, a sit in acoustic base, Lou is the rhythm guitarist, Les Paul's old time pal and long time rythim, guitarist with some sweet licks... the pianist of two years is john. john asks to see the guitar, he says it's one of the nicest pieces of wood he's seen, asks me how much I paid...when I tell him he says he thinks I can sell it right there at the show for 4 grand...he's going to try to get Les to sign it for me. the second show? wow again... "wasting away again in Margareta ville" Jimmy Buffet is in the audience and is invited up by Les after a few songs into the set...Jimmy sits in, he plays a song and says his guitarist is dying to play with the legend, Les Paul, Les invites him to sit in too David carradine is there, was supposed to sit in also but is sick and has to leave I am the first chair right by the stage and this is incredible..we are singing with jimmy buffet, harmonizing the chorus and all is grand in Iridium ville on this wonderfully crisp and clear Monday night in Manhattan. after the show I get Buffet to sign the guitar and say "the day I played with Les Paul", I get his guitarist to sign also, I get Les Paul's guitarist to sign bad news though, the agent says Les is not up to it tonight for after the show signing and he signs either everyone's or nobody's so I am out of luck. bummer everyone in the place wants to play my Axe, and of course, the pleasure is mine, I let everyone the pianist (johnny) tells me confidentially to stick around, Les Paul will sign it after everyone leaves. as the place thins out, the manager won't let us stay, so we head upstairs to wait, outside, about an hour...there is a kid in some band out there ahead of us, looks good , plays good, he's hanging with his Les Paul too there's also an Asian girl who won one of the events at the world series of poker, she's with her husband and they are waiting too...they have another Les Paul mine is clearly the nicest of the entire room this night, although Les's personal guitar is more sophisticated being the recoding model with extra electronics, mine is the studio version but it's clearly a nicer piece. everyone wants to play it...all were there waiting before me and my friend got out, we are all having a ball, telling stories of our lives about an hour later, Les's assistant starts to load up his van with les's guitars and equiptment...as the assistant comes to the door he sees us with the guitars and smiles, tells us to sit tight, Les will sign for us up here....we are elated Les finally comes out about an hour later...he looks tired but smiling like we are a gift to him, (or that's what he has us believe he is SUCH a sweetheart)...he recognizes me (I am perris after all), gives me a hug, plays my guitar, tells me he has one with the same wood Finnish and he is genuinely impressed, he plays all the guitars, signs them and hangs out telling us stories about his life, asking about ours for about 20 minutes what a night, I would be more elaborate, but I have work in the morning and I will only get a couple of hours of sleep.