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Pete’s Gear: 1973 Gibson Les Paul Custom

Pete used this cherry sunburst 1973 Les Paul Custom guitar for perhaps only one show: Newcastle Odeon on 5 7 November 1973. However, it is immortalized in the promotional poster for The Kids Are Alright film soundtrack.

The guitar was purchased by Bobby Pridden or Alan Smith in Newcastle following the Newcastle gig on 5 November, and retained by Alan Smith after it was destroyed.

Sold by rockstarsguitars in 1998 and was on display in the Hard Rock Café in Orlando, Florida, until 2011. Hard Rock’s description:

Pete’s 1973 Gibson Les Paul custom guitar. It was smashed in concert by Pete Townshend at the New Castle Odeon, November 7, 1973. The story goes… 30 minutes into the show, it appeared that Pete threw the guitar into the air as part of the stage act, but was unable to catch it on its descent and the guitar suffered some damage. Because of this, Pete proceeded to demolish the guitar to the point you see it now.

1973 Les Paul Custom (destroyed), courtesy rockstarsguitars.com

1973 Les Paul Custom (destroyed), courtesy rockstarsguitars.com.

1973 Les Paul Custom (destroyed), courtesy rockstarsguitars.com

Newcastle Odeon on 7 November 1973, with 1973 Les Paul Custom.

1973 Les Paul Custom (destroyed), courtesy rockstarsguitars.com

Newcastle Odeon on 7 November 1973, with 1973 Les Paul Custom.

The Kids Are Alright poster: This guitar has seconds to live.

The Kids Are Alright poster (courtesy thewho.org): “This guitar has seconds to live.” Taken at the Newcastle Odeon show on 7 November 1973, with the 1973 Les Paul Custom guitar.

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