In my previous post, I talked and posted pictures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” (https://roymusicusa.com/2019/04/26/pictures-from-an-exhibition-the-instruments-of-rock-roll-at-the-met-part-i/). This time I want to talk briefly about this one single display in the show. First I want to preface this with a single statement: I love Gibson SG’s. I have a SG Standard and it’s one of my main “go to” guitars. I use it for rock, fusion and slide guitar. I think their tremendously versatile, play great and are much easier on my back than Gibson Les Pauls.
The guitar that we know today as the SG was actually first introduced by Gibson in 1961 as a Les Paul. With sales of Les Pauls in decline, Gibson redesigned the guitar with a thinner, flat-topped mahogany body, a double cutaway which made the upper frets more accessible, and a contoured body. However the new design also resulted in problems with the strength of the body and neck. In addition, the redesign was done without knowledge of Les Paul himself and who was dissatisfied with the new guitar. Les Paul insisted that his name be taken off the new model and in 1963 Gibson reintroduced the guitar as the SG (for “Solid Guitar”).
This brings us the the trinity of Gibson SG’s we have below. The SG on the left belongs to Derek Trucks. He bought it in 1991 and has since been autographed by dozens of his musical heroes. The SG on the right was the one played Angus Young in concert since the 1980s. And in the center is a guitar that made my heart swoon. It’s the SG used by Duane Allman as his main slide guitar, including on Live At The Fillmore East. Yes, this is the guitar heard on Statesboro Blues. Yes, this is the guitar that CHANGED MY LIFE (too dramatic . . maybe). Fellow Allman Brother guitarist Dickey Betts gave this guitar to Duane so he would not need to spend so much time onstage retuning his guitar for slide playing. As a interesting side note, this guitar was eventually passed down to Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills & Nash.
More guitar porn next post . . . .