A close friend of mine encouraged me to have a midlife crisis, and that’s how I finally convinced myself to buy a Gibson Les Paul. Somehow I had always ended up buying Fender electric guitars despite my love for the sound of a Les Paul. So it’s a 2018 Les Paul Standard in heritage cherry sunburst. Besides looking and sounding gorgeous, it’s got the Jimmy Page inspired push-pull switches that do all sorts of madness.

I named it “Elle” for a few silly reasons. Mostly it’s named after Elizabeth Cotten, but it also happens to be the eleventh guitar-like instrument I own (counting mandolins, basses, etc.). So, being that it’s number eleven, I like to think of it as also named after the character Elle / Eleven from Stranger Things. Anyway, though Cotten was known for her innovative acoustic work and isn’t associated with the electric guitar, she was a bad ass super hero level guitarist.

This guitar figures prominently on “Condo Fucks City Rockers,” “Army Dreamers,” “New London Calling,” and “Guns of Noank.” It’s a monster in front of my Fender ‘65 Twin Reissue, and also in front of my Sovtek MIG-50. All that stuff about a Les Paul plugged into a dimed tube amp is true.