Designed to take on the Fender Stratocaster with a lighter body and a different feeling neck, the modified Les Paul came into being in 1960/61 to be quickly excommunicated by its namesake and received the moniker SG (solid guitar) by 1963. By this period, there had been some design improvements. The neck tenon was improved making the guitar more stable and less prone to breaks and the sideways vibrato was replaced with the ‘Lyre’ version which worked far better. Many consider this to be the best version of the guitar.
The guitar was previously owned by guitarist Jimmy Gaynor, here is a bio from his website -
Jimmy Gaynor, started playing guitar in April 1970, a few months before Jimi Hendrix died. A year later he formed is first band Red House, in memory of Jimi, and made a big impact on the Dublin music scene, along side ‘Thin Lizzy”, “Skid Row” and “Horslips”. Moving on he formed “Angel”, who played all over Ireland, recorded in England. Then after a stint with Rob Strong (The Commitments), Jimmy took Gary Moore’s place in “Skid Row”, but getting itchy feet again, he formed “The East Coast Angels” who played alongside “U2” in the late 70’s, releasing the now rare and legendary “Punk Rockin” single. Next came “The Shy”, who were featured on the “Vinyl Verdict” album, a compilation of all the best Dublin bands of the time. After this Jimmy moved to England and found immediate success appearing with Jools Holland on the TV Show “The Tube”, also featuring Paula Yates. The next few years were spent recording and playing in England and Spain, helping along the way to form “Paddy goes to Holyhead”. Towards the end of the 80’s, formed “The Dublin Cowboys” and spent the next 10 years, playing all over England also releasing the EP “Branded”. At the beginning of the new millennium, Jimmy opened his own studio Electric Playground, and started writing and recording in earnest. Which brings us full circle, back to the music that Jimmy started out playing, Blues, BluesRock, Rock, etc. It’s this music, that Jimmy will be writing, recording, uploading and selling in the forseable future. This is the story so far, and the journey continues…
According to our customer, Jimmy bought this SG at auction. It was fitted with Patent Number pickups and one day decided that he’d try the PAF pickups from his 1962 ES-335 in it. He liked how it sounded so they stayed.
This guitar is in good condition. Its been refinished and as such is in good shape, the colour evoking a more of a Jaydee Custom vibe than that of a Gibson of this period although we have had a couple of mint 64’s that are close to this colour.. There are a few very minor dings here and there but nothing too serious at all. Another point of note is the mahogany grain which is showcased so wonderfully here.
The neck, like the body, has been refinished but is in great shape and showcases the stunning mahogany grain. The fretboard shows no signs of wear and the refret has been done sympathetically. The headstock has suffered a break though this seems to have been well repaired and Grover tuners have been fitted.
There is also a small repair by the jack socket which is all too common with these.
The all nickel parts look very good with maybe a very little dulling. The ABR-1 is a modern example with Nashville style posts .The lyre tremolo looks good and works so well. The plastics are in great shape however the knobs are more modern repros. Electronically the pots are from the early 70’s and the pickups (maybe the cherry on the pie) are original PAF’s from the early 60’s. They are gold plated PAF’s so obviously not from this guitar but most of the gold plating has been worn or rubbed off.
The guitar comes with a black hardshell case.
The profile of the neck is so instantly comfortable, quite a way from the wide narrow feel of earlier models. Tonally, the SG really brings quite a unique perspective on the twin humbucker combination. The smoothness of the neck pickup with the bite of the bridge and never too woofy. Like any Gibson from this period and earlier, there is such a scope to the sound, a notion that was lost with later incarnations from the venerable manufacturer.
If you’re searching for an SG for the collection then you cannot go wrong with this one. If it was good enough for George, good enough for Eric then surely it should be for you!