Monday, November 19, 2007

1960's SG Jr.

In 1981, I traveled up to St. Cloud, Minnesota to visit a few music stores. I came across Al’s Music on my last stop. One the wall was a beat up, white SG Jr., with its finish cracked\ and dents and chips all over the body, but in all original condition. The price was $250. I had to have this guitar, but, being only 18 and in vocational school, I had no cash. I drove home, about an hour south, and tried to figure out a way to buy this before it was too late. I decided that my Echoplex had to go. So, with that in hand, and some cash, I drove back up there. It had been a few weeks, so I was hoping it was still there. It was, and I got it.

When I plugged it in, I remember being under whelmed with the soap bar pickup. That was probably because I had never had one before. I decided it needed a humbucking pickup. I managed to find one even with my limited funds. I had no tools to get it in, though. Out comes a screwdriver, which worked well as a chisel. I made the rout just big enough. Of course, today, you would never, ever do this. Back then, it was just an 18 year old beat up SG Jr. I did not know the year of the SG, but it had to be between 1964 and 1967.

The guitar sounded great with the new pickup. I was using a Lab Series L-5 amp with it.
It was as light as a feather, and had a crude vibrato bar on it, which worked well enough. It was not meant for dive bombing, Van Halen type playing, but with a subtle touch, you could get those Allan Holdsworth styling’s.

I used the guitar for maybe two years, until GAS go a hold of me (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome). I traded it for a Les Paul Custom. The original pickup went back on, and the rout was small enough to where you did not even notice that I took a screwdriver to it.

I really miss this guitar. It is the only one I ever regret getting rid of. With the damage I did to it, it may not be all that collectable, but it played great and had the true reliced look, due to years of playing and abuse by its former owner. Today, Gibson and others try to replicate that look. This one was the real deal.

1 comment:

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Great site you have here, I am going to link to you I think some of my classic rock readers would dig this. sorry to hear about your guitar, I hate it when I get rid of something and later kick myself for it.