My First ‘Real’ Les Paul

"This pic was taken at a was a ‘Lonesome No More’ rehearsal in London around the time we had the deal for the single “Turned Insane” and the record company were trying to get press photos of us playing. This was my first ever proper Gibson Les Paul and whilst I’d not managed to change the tuning pegs, I had taken the pickup covers off and was using my one and only pre ‘Death Cult’ effect pedal… an MXR Distortion plus.
There’s a funny story linked to this guitar too as I’d bought it before I left Manchester and as a security measure put my name and my parents’ home phone number on a tiny piece of paper hidden behind the pickup selector switch. Several years later my dad called me frantic thinking somebody had nicked one of my guitar’s and was trying to extort money from him to get it back. To put it in context he was a man who’d grown up in central Manchester between the wars so had a degree of street smarts, hence the suspicion because by this time The Cult were almost a household name in the UK. Of course what had happened was I’d sold that guitar years before and a guy that had bought it later had found the bit of paper with my dad’s number and had called checking the provenance and to see that it really had belonged to “Billy from The Cult”. Needless to say, all was resolved without any “Hulme justice” hahaha

As for the outfit… the t-shirt’s a classic ‘Chinese Rocks’ Heartbreakers one and was my pride and joy at the time. The Chelsea Boots were from Johnsons (where I was working part time) and it was probably their jeans too. As most folks know I’ve never been far away from a Levi’s jacket and at this time I NEVER wore matching jeans and jackets... had to be blue and black… no Canadian tuxedos for me back then… hahahaha. Though to be fair later in life I actually did a 180 and went ‘Salvage crazy’ so started wearing matching vintage denim jackets and jeans made old school style."

Billy - March 2019