I am starting a new series of blogs that will appear at random times to showcase my small but spirited guitar collection. It will give me a chance to share with you what I play, and share some stories at the same time. Seems like each guitar I have has a story attached, some interesting some more mundane, but even so each guitar seems to remind me of an era or place in my life. Hopefully by reading this you too will look at your guitar collection, big or small, and see what each guitar reminds you of: a place, a time, a band, a romance, or just plain stupidity.
First up is my beloved 1984 sunburst Gibson SG. I had just recently bought my first electric guitar and amp(Ampeg 50 V3 50 watt tube amp), with my own money, at the local music store where I took lessons in high school in Solon, Ohio. Well, I walked into the store one evening, saw this guitar, and it was all over. I was immediatly scrambing to figure out how to pay for it.
Part of the attraction was that I had seen pictures of Robbie Krieger from the Doors and Pete Townsend from the Who playing an SG at various times. I loved both those bands. The other part of it was that this was just a damn good looking guitar and had that Gibson name on it. Funny thing is that at that time Gibson actually did not have the best name in the music business having fallen on hard times. Plus the hair metal band style of playing (wammy bar dives, finger tapping, sweep picking) and guitars were sweeping the music scene with everyone buying Charvel, Jackson, Ibanez, BC Rich and other new brands. A Floyd Rose tremolo was pretty much required hardware. Even at that age I was more of a rock purist and felt there was nothing equal to a Gibson or Fender, and my playing stye gravitated much more towards the classic rock sound and bands.
So, after begging the store owner for about a week, he finally took my recent guitar purchase back on a trade-in with significant depreciation of course, and another $310 on top of that and I had my SG. To this day I have not seen another SG with this sunburst finish. Most all of them seem to be more solid reds, blacks and white color. I played it regularly until i got to college and picked up strats. It has the lowest frets I have ever seen, and so I eventually set it up for playing slide guitar, which it is perfect for. As a consequence there is very little fret wear even 27 years later.
The guitar is in great shape in general, a few annoying dings and a bunch of belt marks in the back before I knew what I was doing, but otherwise its all original. I almost never take it out of the house. I know its not “vintage” but it probably will be someday with the price of real vintage guitars. Plus I just like to keep the wear and tear down on this baby. It feels like this guitar has been with me forever. Just about has.