all images courtesy of Gibson.com
As the 1950’s came to a close and a new era began to unfold, Gibson was a top brand among guitar manufacturers worldwide. The Gibson ES and Gibson Les Paul models had made their way to the biggest stages and the hottest national television shows, however with the turn of the decade brought a different sensibility and with it, a new set of electric guitar needs. The company’s Les Paul model was no longer achieving sales figures the management desired and they swiftly assigned their design team with the challenge of creating a new type of guitar. An instrument that had a thinner faster neck than ever before and provided even better access to the highest end of the fret board.
A Different Breed
Development took place over 1960 and by 1961 the team at Gibson created a turbo charged instrument that would find itself at the forefront of Rock & Roll history. Featuring an all mahogany body and neck, topped with a rosewood fret board the new instrument was not only eye-catching but also renowned for its bright creamy tones that could cut down the middle of any record. Upon release in 1961 Gibson created four models with ascending prices for customers to choose from. The Junior and Special featured Gibson’s single coil P-90 pick-ups, while the more expensive Standard and Custom featured a pair of humbuckers in the same position.
With the Gibson Les Paul not selling as anticipated, the model was discontinued in support of Gibson’s brand new design. Although the guitar’s SG name instantly conjures images of a two horned axe and the birth of Metal music, the guitar was actually released as the new Gibson Les Paul. From it’s debut in 1961 until 1963, the Gibson SG was actually marketed as the Gibson Les Paul.
This became a rather confusing decision from their marketing team that didn’t help to tell consumers about their radically different design of a solid bodied guitar. Ironically Les Paul himself wasn’t aware of the new design and when the guitar was brought out in 1961 Les was not a fan of the instrument. Declining to take his royalty payments from Gibson for the guitar’s sales, the company eventually agreed to remove his name from the model and from 1963 the design became known as the Gibson SG, the ‘Solid Guitar’.
A Rock Icon
The role this guitar has played in music is something of a legend. From the hands of Tony Iommi who can be credited as the spark to Heavy Metal music with his band Black Sabbath to the stadium of fans who looked on as Angus Young played his SG in AC/DC, the Gibson SG has been established as a Rock icon in it’s own right. Despite a host of design flaws due to the relatively small amount of space given for the neck to be fixed to the body, it is one of the only models from Gibson to have never been retired.
Angus Young and the distinctive Gibson SG guitar
The Gibson SG is still made in America to this day and has firmly secured it’s spot as Gibson’s best selling guitar of all time.
Gibson SG for Sale 🎸
On the flip side, the Gibson SG, introduced in the early ’60s as the “solid guitar,” has been a mainstay in the hands of players seeking a lighter and more manoeuvrable instrument. Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Angus Young of AC/DC, and Frank Zappa are among the many who have harnessed the power of the SG for their sonic explorations. A sample of the best new and used Gibson SG guitars available now.
Gibson SG Special 1972 Vintage Electric Guitar, unbelievable condition. . This guitar is available now for £3,000.00. The seller is located in GB. The condition of this instrument has been listed as Used. This guitar is being sold by a…Read More
Gibson SG Faded Tribute Satin Ebony 2019 Used Electric Guitar. This guitar is available now for £958.65. The seller is located in JP. The condition of this instrument has been listed as Used. This guitar is being sold by a seller with …Read More
Gibson SG Special Guitar 100th Anniversary 2015 24 Fret Gold concept case.. This guitar is available now for £995.00. The seller is located in GB. The condition of this instrument has been listed as Used. This guitar is being sold by a…Read More
SG Gibson Baldwin Signature Series, Cherry Red, Angus Young Style Guitar. This guitar is available now for £135.00. The seller is located in GB. The condition of this instrument has been listed as Used. This guitar is being sold by a s…Read More
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History of the Gibson iconic guitars
To find out more about some of the most iconic Fender guitars – please use the links below
- A short history of the Gibson Les Paul guitar
- A short history of the Gibson ES guitar
- A short history of the Gibson SG guitar
This article was written with reference from the following websites.