The below statements are what was told to me by an ex PRS employee that is a friend of mine. True? You decide: 1) The story behind the Santana back plate is that Paul was up against a deadline building a Santana back in the day. He didn't have time to finish the tremolo cavity so he quickly rounded over the edges and sent it off to paint.THAT is how it came to be. However, since Santana was a Hendrix fan, and Hendrix took off the back plate to get at the springs (VanHalen as well), then that was told to everyone. 2) A shipment of tuners/pegs had no chrome and was used to build a NAMM guitar. When Paul was asked why there was no chrome, he stated for "tone" reasons. Either way, people believe what they want to believe. BTW - I never actually heard or played a 57-59 PAF and I am 51. I really couldn't tell you if any pickup is a PAF sounding pickup or not. Therefore, when people throw the PAF acronym around, I just shake my head. Besides, all PAF pickups are not the same, or are they???? LOL The reason why a 59 Les Paul Standard is so hallowed is that that was the first year of that configuration since the Les Paul inception. There were approximately less than 1500 - 2000 of that particular configuration of neck/frets/pickups/bridge/wood, etc.. until the 1960's neck came to be and by then the SG was the new "Les Paul" for most of the 1960's. Therefore, if you wanted to get a suped up Les Paul for Rock, in the 1960's, the 1959-1960 year (bleed over production) was it. THAT is how the legend was born. That said, EVH took a body that was going to be thrown out, put a Fender Tremolo on it, a sort of Gibson "broken" pickup/wiring that he fixed up, cut up a pick guard, and stuck an aftermarket strat type neck on it. He then made history.