Jared James Nichols to restore destroyed tornado damaged 1952 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop

Meet Dorothy, the tornado damaged Gibson 1952 Les Paul Goldtop being restored for Jared James Nichols

Jared James Nichols is going to have a partially destroyed  1952 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop restored, after it was discovered in the aftermath of the 2013 Washington, Illinois tornado.


The 1952 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop is possibly one of the first 100 guitars made, as it has the two diagonal bridge pickup screws, which indicate its a very early model.

Dorothy the tornado damaged Gibson 1952 Les Paul Goldtop

The guitar is named ‘Dorothy’ by Nichols after the lead character from The Wizard of Oz, who ended up in a tornado and whisked to a strange land!

His Instagram post reads as follows;

“On 17 November 2013 one of the biggest recorded tornadoes tore through Washington, Illinois killing and destroying everything in its path. This guitar was found in the front yard of a home in the rubble. It has not been touched since, there is still mud on it!”

“the original owner was found (it was her grandpa’s guitar who has long passed) and she gave her blessing to my new friend who has kept the guitar since then.”

TJ Duckwiler, is the person who found the guitar and who has gifted Nichols the guitar, knowing his love for Les Pauls, especially those equipped with P-90 pickups.


Jared will have Joel Wilkins restore the damaged Les Paul, which is now known as Dorothy. Joel is known for his restoration work on vintage guitars, including early Fender and Gibson models.

“Joel is a WIZARD, and a true genius, he will be taking this project full-on,” Nichols wrote. “Crafting a hand-built Brazilian board neck, alongside fixing every other component to take it back to GLORY. I will only be fixing, no REFINISH! Excited is an understatement. I cannot wait to play my heart out on this Les Paul.”

This is one huge restoration and I’m really looking forward to seeing Jared wielding this ’52 Goldtop once the work has been completed. Maybe, Gibson could do a limited run of this tornado damaged model, once it is fully restored?




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