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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 will have a partially destroyed  1952 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop restored after it was discovered in the aftermath of the 2013 Washington, Illinois, tornado.

Jared James Nichols – Dorothy

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

Tornado Damaged

The guitar is named ‘Dorothy’ by Nichols after the lead character from The Wizard of Oz, who ends up in a tornado and is 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 gifted it to Nichols, knowing his love for Les Pauls, especially those equipped with P-90 pickups.


Jared will have Joel Wilkins restore the damaged Les Paul, 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. He Will Craft 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 wield this ’52 Goldtop once the work has been completed. Once it is fully restored, maybe Gibson could do a limited run of this tornado-damaged model.

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