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  1. #1

    Default Tony's white Gibson SG

    I was looking at the cover of the 1970 Vertigo compilation that came out in Germany through the Sonderauflage Book Club and noticed Tony was playing his white SG. Made me think about how often and for how long he used it as there is not a lot of photographic evidence of it being used.

    We know he used it during the recording of Paranoid (the week of June 16, 1970) from the pictures:


    June 16-20, 1970 Paranoid Recording Session, Regent Sound Studio, London



    Right after recording Paranoid they left for a week long tour of Germany starting with two large outdoor gigs.

    From the evidence, it looks like he took the white SG with him on this tour. He also took his regular SG as the pictures from the last date of the tour in Langelsheim show him playing that. I think the shots on the cover of this German Club Sonderauflage compilation are probably from either the Rock Circus '70 or Big Gig Festival. Another interesting thing to note is Ozzy's microphone. Looks like they were recording this gig!


    June 21, 1970 Rock Circus '70 Radstadion, Frankfurt or
    June 22, 1970 Big Gig Festival, Derby-Platz, Klein Flottbek, Hamburg




    June 26, 1970 Audimax der Freien Universität, Berlin. This gig was supposedly filmed. Notice Bill is possibly wearing the same shirt as Geezer was a few days earlier!




    The next images we have of the white SG are from the two TV performances in September 1970 during another week long tour on the continent.


    September 26, 1970 Beat Club, Bremen (broadcast date)



    Iron Man http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6y6_xJ0SCY
    Paranoid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1G4JmbfvAQ

    and


    September 29, 1970 Top Pop, Hilversum (broadcast date)



    Paranoid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL4aJhIEJ8Y


    That seems to be it. So it looks like every known instance of Tony using the white SG is when he was being recorded!

    What was it about that guitar that he liked better for recording than his regular SG? Anybody ever heard Tony talking about his preference for recording with this guitar or know of any other times he used it or what happened to it? In the shots from 1974 when Tony is displaying his guitar colection at his home, the white SG is not in any of the pics.
    Last edited by Rollerjoint; 07-13-2013 at 12:08 AM. Reason: First photo was deleted

  2. #2

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    Maybe he liked it for the humbuckers but stopped using it because they weren't powerful enough compare to the modded P90 in the Monkey.

    It's weird how long he used the Monkey, considering he has said countless times it had a weak neck. Despite having access to other instruments he stuck with that one until at least 1975.

  3. #3
    sn0wb1ind0zzy's Avatar
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    The white SG was actually stolen, I don't quite remember the circumstances behind it, I'm sure someone else on the boards could shed some light onto this?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 62_SG View Post
    Maybe he liked it for the humbuckers
    I've always thought SG's with three humbuckers just looks weird. Les Pauls too, for that matter... Just make me think of Ace Frehley...
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by 62_SG View Post
    Maybe he liked it for the humbuckers but stopped using it because they weren't powerful enough compare to the modded P90 in the Monkey.

    It's weird how long he used the Monkey, considering he has said countless times it had a weak neck. Despite having access to other instruments he stuck with that one until at least 1975.

    In this interview from 2008 with Gibson, http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyl...blacksabb.aspx , Tony talks about his set up for recording Paranoid and mentions this white Les Paul/SG and his reason for not continuing to use it.

    "But I did use a white Les Paul. I did “Paranoid” on a Les Paul, an old one. And I used a black Les Paul, a Black Beauty, just to try something different than the SG. But that was the first and last time I used a Les Paul. I could never get the hang of it; I always wanted to but I could never do it. I could never get that sound that everybody else used to get. I remember there was this kid who used to jam with us around that time and he used one of my Les Pauls and plugged into my amp and he got that Les Paul sound. I thought, “Bloody hell!”"

    I was thinking something along the lines of what you were saying. When I first realized that all the shots of him using it were when he was recording, I thought of the way his Monkey SG sounds on all the live tapes, with the massive wall of feedback that he gets when he turns the volume up and I was thinking maybe he used the white SG for recording because it was a little more controllable. So I listened to the Audimax tape and compared it to the Filmore West 1970 show and with just a few exceptions there was that wall of feedback on a lot of the songs from the Fillmore and none on the Audimax.

    For comparison the first track they play at both these shows is Paranoid:

    Audimax: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE5uKBgPMfU

    Fillmore: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OQhi2NTAec


    Here's a closeup of a similar vintage but right handed: http://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/th...stom-1961-024/

  6. #6
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    I love that white sg, i think it looks sweet! It was stolen when they put it in storage. Tony loved that guitar and was heart broken when it went missing. I think Leslie West gave him that guitar.
    Last edited by scorpio 2000; 07-10-2013 at 11:07 PM.

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    Great interview Rollerjoint. Thanks for that.
    So let me get this right, Paranoid, the song, was recorded on a Les Paul? That's a turn up for the books.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iconosphere View Post
    Great interview Rollerjoint. Thanks for that.
    So let me get this right, Paranoid, the song, was recorded on a Les Paul? That's a turn up for the books.
    His wording is a bit confusing. His white SG was technically a white Les Paul, but Les Pauls as we know them didn't come back into production until 1968. So either hes referring to his SG as a Les Paul or he used both white and black Les Pauls, but he says he only used it once. I think hes saying he used a black Les Paul to do the one song.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iconosphere View Post
    Great interview Rollerjoint. Thanks for that.
    So let me get this right, Paranoid, the song, was recorded on a Les Paul? That's a turn up for the books.
    Quote Originally Posted by 62_SG View Post
    His wording is a bit confusing. His white SG was technically a white Les Paul, but Les Pauls as we know them didn't come back into production until 1968. So either hes referring to his SG as a Les Paul or he used both white and black Les Pauls, but he says he only used it once. I think hes saying he used a black Les Paul to do the one song.

    Here's a little bit from wiki that may help to explain the change in in body shape and name:

    In 1961, Gibson Les Paul sales were significantly lower than in previous years. The following year, the Les Paul was given a thinner, flat-topped mahogany body, and had a double cutaway which made the upper frets more accessible. The neck joint was moved by three frets to further ease access to the upper frets. The simpler body construction significantly reduced production costs, and the new Les Paul, with its slender neck profile and small heel was advertised as having the "fastest neck in the world". Although the new guitar was popular, Les Paul himself did not care for the new design, and requested the removal of his name from the new model. He remained under contract to Gibson, however, and he was photographed with the new model several times.

    Here is the picture from above of a similar vintage as Tony's. Gibson SG Les Paul Custom:


  10. #10
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    Aaaaaaaah. All makes sense now. You'd think I'd know as I have both SG's and Les Pauls. And only been playing for 32 years. Heh. Oh well, you learn something new everyday. Cheers guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollerjoint View Post
    Although the new guitar was popular, Les Paul himself did not care for the new design, and requested the removal of his name from the new model.
    Which is when they named it SG, as in Solid Guitar.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Underdog View Post
    Which is when they named it SG, as in Solid Guitar.
    Really?

    an interesting factoid

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    Wasn't it the "RED" SG that went missing or was stolen? I could be wrong.

  14. #14

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    It's weird to think that the world went eight years without a new Les Paul. Last were in 1960 until they resumed again in 1968.

    Quote Originally Posted by turch118 View Post
    Wasn't it the "RED" SG that went missing or was stolen? I could be wrong.
    That was his recent Custom Shop model, the prototype for his signature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turch118 View Post
    Wasn't it the "RED" SG that went missing or was stolen? I could be wrong.
    The "Monkey" SG was stolen on a couple occasions. One of the people who stole it, believed that Tony had put a curse on him when a bunch of horrible things began to happen to him. So he mailed the guitar back to Tony and begged him to take the curse off. I think the "Monkey" SG is in a Hard Rock Cafe somewhere isn't it?

    It is:

    Last edited by Axe fiend; 07-12-2013 at 09:43 AM.
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  17. #17
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    hey do you think the difference in the electrical power sources between europe and america might have something to do with the feedback issue you were mentioning ? just wondering ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesline View Post
    hey do you think the difference in the electrical power sources between europe and america might have something to do with the feedback issue you were mentioning ? just wondering ?
    Good job, thats a great point!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by From Beyond View Post
    Really?

    an interesting factoid
    http://www.black-sabbath.com/vb/show...t=guitar+facts
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesline View Post
    hey do you think the difference in the electrical power sources between europe and america might have something to do with the feedback issue you were mentioning ? just wondering ?
    Yeah, that is a very good point. I have no idea. I'll have to listen to a few more early shows and see if there's a pattern.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by 62_SG View Post
    His wording is a bit confusing. His white SG was technically a white Les Paul, but Les Pauls as we know them didn't come back into production until 1968. So either hes referring to his SG as a Les Paul or he used both white and black Les Pauls, but he says he only used it once. I think hes saying he used a black Les Paul to do the one song.

    He mentions "Black Beauty" in that quote, and if I recall correctly there is no such thing as an SG Black Beauty. Could be wrong, but it really sounds like he did at least use a black Les Paul. More recently I also thought he tracked parts in the studio on Fused using a Les Paul. I think he stated somewhere used it on the rhythm parts on that album. Think he even used a strat and a Vox amp on Fused as well. Speaking of strat, is it just me or do parts of the guitar on "Damaged Soul" sound like they were done on a strat. I assume that's not the case, but there is something very different about the guitar tone on that track when compared to the rest of the album. Different amp maybe, if not a different guitar? Or maybe for Damaged Soul he used the Moritz Monkey SG replica that was recently made for him.


    http://www.guitarnerd.com.au/2013/03...itz-monkey-sg/

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    Quote Originally Posted by spiral_architect101 View Post
    Speaking of strat, is it just me or do parts of the guitar on "Damaged Soul" sound like they were done on a strat. I assume that's not the case, but there is something very different about the guitar tone on that track when compared to the rest of the album. Different amp maybe, if not a different guitar? Or maybe for Damaged Soul he used the Moritz Monkey SG replica that was recently made for him.


    http://www.guitarnerd.com.au/2013/03...itz-monkey-sg/
    MikeX said that During the recording Tony received a Gibson Jazz for his 60th birthday. Yes almost 5 years late. Anyway, he said that it was a single cutaway hollow body and that Tony used it on Zeitgeist and other clean parts on the album.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by spiral_architect101 View Post
    Or maybe for Damaged Soul he used the Moritz Monkey SG replica that was recently made for him.
    I've heard that he used the Monkey when he recorded "Loner", but I'm not sure if he used it on any other tracks. Another possibility for "Damaged Soul" may be P90s, but it still sounds stratty to me.
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    He played a white SG ON The Mob Rules on the 2009 H&H Tour. I'm thinking he played that red Monkey replica mosdtly on the new album, since he ssems to like it so much, that and the old boy, the one with the bad finish...

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
    He played a white SG ON The Mob Rules on the 2009 H&H Tour. I'm thinking he played that red Monkey replica mosdtly on the new album, since he ssems to like it so much, that and the old boy, the one with the bad finish...
    Yeah, he had a custom two-pickup 24 fret white SG Custom with a Floyd Rose. He also had a black 24-fret Standard with a Floyd as a backup.

    Tony said in Guitar World that he used the Old Boy and the new aged white replica for most of the recording. He used the Monkey for Loner and an ES-175 for the outro solo on Zeitgeist. He didn't use any of his Gibson Signature models. I get the feeling he isn't as big a fan of them as he is the Jaydees with the Old Boy pickups. Lately he hasn't used any Gibsons at all, just three Jaydees (tuned to D, C# and C) and the Monkey (tuned to Eb).

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
    He played a white SG ON The Mob Rules on the 2009 H&H Tour. I'm thinking he played that red Monkey replica mostly on the new album, since he ssems to like it so much, that and the old boy, the one with the bad finish...
    His original OB and his new Ivory distressed OB were his main guitars on the new album , Lou's Monkey replica were used only on the solos on 'Loner' , but on the recent tour , all the new songs from '13' are played on the Monkey replica ( tuned to Eb just like the album)


    Quote Originally Posted by Ochlocracy View Post
    I've heard that he used the Monkey when he recorded "Loner", but I'm not sure if he used it on any other tracks. Another possibility for "Damaged Soul" may be P90s, but it still sounds stratty to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by spiral_architect101 View Post
    He mentions "Black Beauty" in that quote, and if I recall correctly there is no such thing as an SG Black Beauty. Could be wrong, but it really sounds like he did at least use a black Les Paul. More recently I also thought he tracked parts in the studio on Fused using a Les Paul. I think he stated somewhere used it on the rhythm parts on that album. Think he even used a strat and a Vox amp on Fused as well. Speaking of strat, is it just me or do parts of the guitar on "Damaged Soul" sound like they were done on a strat. I assume that's not the case, but there is something very different about the guitar tone on that track when compared to the rest of the album. Different amp maybe, if not a different guitar? Or maybe for Damaged Soul he used the Moritz Monkey SG replica that was recently made for him.


    http://www.guitarnerd.com.au/2013/03...itz-monkey-sg/
    This song particularly sounds a bit different than the rest for 2 main reasons , 1st it was literally a warm up 18 minutes Jam that was edited down to the album version by Rick as we heard , Geezer mentions in a recent interview that he doesn't even remember recording it in the first place ! so I guess their amp settings might haven't been set up as properly as they usually do for recording and hence the different and more raw sound to the whole thing ! 2nd , he probably used a vintage Laney Klipp amp on this one , it was one of a very few amps that were used on the record along with his new signature Laney amps T100 ( he used some of his old signature Laney heads too).

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesline View Post
    hey do you think the difference in the electrical power sources between europe and america might have something to do with the feedback issue you were mentioning ? just wondering ?
    Don't believe so , those annoying feed backs were definitely from the massive volume Iommi played with back in the days and the fact that his original Monkey pickups were single coil P90's ! they are noisy and get a lot feed back when you turn the amp volume up.

    Quote Originally Posted by sn0wb1ind0zzy View Post
    The white SG was actually stolen, I don't quite remember the circumstances behind it, I'm sure someone else on the boards could shed some light onto this?
    His original white SG was never stolen but he doesn't own it any longer
    http://www.dawksound.com/iommi1.html

    Here is a list of the guitars and alternative tunings Tony and Sabbath are using on the recent '13' tour ( Australia tour dates) :

    1. War Pigs (D)
    2. Into the Void (C)
    3. Under the Sun (C)
    4. Snowblind (C)
    5. Electric Funeral (D)
    6. Black Sabbath (D)
    7. Behind the Wall of Sleep (D)
    8. N.I.B. (D)
    9. End of the Beginning (Eb)
    10. Fairies Wear Boots (D)
    11. Symptom of the Universe (Instrumental) (D)
    12. Drum Solo
    13. Iron Man (D)
    14. God Is Dead? (Eb)
    15. Dirty Women (C#)
    16. Children of the Grave (C#)
    17. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Intro)/ Paranoid (D)

    - Methademic (Eb)
    - Loner (Eb)

    1)The Jaydee 'Old Boy' replica used for all songs in (C)
    2)The Ivory 'Old Boy' is used for all songs in (C#)3)The Cherry 'Old Boy' is used for all songs in (D)
    3)The Cherry 'Old Boy' is used for all songs in (D)
    4)All new songs are played on Lou Mortiz guitar 'Monkey' replica in (Eb)

    Notice that he doesn't use the original OB on the tour so far (he uses an exact distressed JD OB replica) , was told that the original OB was too previous to fly over now , his Custom black Gibson SG is a back up guitar for the C# tuning , the Monkey replica pickups are the same as the ones on his OB by JD , the whole guitar was built by Lou though , that's way its sounds very similar to his JD OB guitars.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by IRON-MaN View Post
    His original OB and his new Ivory distressed OB were his main guitars on the new album , Lou's Monkey replica were used only on the solos on 'Loner' , but on the recent tour , all the new songs from '13' are played on the Monkey replica ( tuned to Eb just like the album)






    This song particularly sounds a bit different than the rest for 2 main reasons , 1st it was literally a warm up 18 minutes Jam that was edited down to the album version by Rick as we heard , Geezer mentions in a recent interview that he doesn't even remember recording it in the first place ! so I guess their amp settings might haven't been set up as properly as they usually do for recording and hence the different and more raw sound to the whole thing ! 2nd , he probably used a vintage Laney Klipp amp on this one , it was one of a very few amps that were used on the record along with his new signature Laney amps T100 ( he used some of his old signature Laney heads too).



    I thought in that Guitar World article Tony said that they (Rick?) wanted him to get a more vintage sound and use the Laney Klipp but that they blew up on him just like they did back in the old days. Then he went on to say he was able to get a more vintage sound simply by using the new custom Laney and modifying his settings, levels, etc. I could be wrong, but that's what I remember from that article. That being said, when watching the Making of 13 documentary there was a quick glance at the mixing board and there was a label on the tracks that said Ampeg SVT / Klipp or something like that. But I assumed that the mention of SVT meant that it was Geezer's bass and not Tony's guitar. I think Geezer mentioned (in Bass Player) that he used an old Ampeg for at least some of the album, but I don't think he said anything about Klipps although I thought back in the 70s he used them too just like Tony did.

    Anyhow, maybe you're right that the amp settings is what makes "Damaged Soul" sound different tonewise from the rest of the album, and not a different guitar such as a strat or something with p90s.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by spiral_architect101 View Post
    I thought in that Guitar World article Tony said that they (Rick?) wanted him to get a more vintage sound and use the Laney Klipp but that they blew up on him just like they did back in the old days. Then he went on to say he was able to get a more vintage sound simply by using the new custom Laney and modifying his settings, levels, etc. I could be wrong, but that's what I remember from that article. That being said, when watching the Making of 13 documentary there was a quick glance at the mixing board and there was a label on the tracks that said Ampeg SVT / Klipp or something like that. But I assumed that the mention of SVT meant that it was Geezer's bass and not Tony's guitar. I think Geezer mentioned (in Bass Player) that he used an old Ampeg for at least some of the album, but I don't think he said anything about Klipps although I thought back in the 70s he used them too just like Tony did.

    Anyhow, maybe you're right that the amp settings is what makes "Damaged Soul" sound different tonewise from the rest of the album, and not a different guitar such as a strat or something with p90s.
    I read the recent Guitar World article with Tony and I Thought NONE of those vintage amps were used on '13' , not true, and according with another discussion with Mike.X the Laney Klipp was used on many rythm/lead tracks on the whole album , we can obviously assume'Damaged Soul' was recorded using the Klipp since it really has this raw and dirty vintage sound all over.

    Geezer used Ampeg Classic on many tracks on the record , and he is actually using them on some track on tour as well with 1969 (8x10) , main tour amps though are the 'Hartke' kilo along with his custom cabs.

  29. #29

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    AFAIK or can remember:

    - The white SG Custom was a 1963 with original humbucker pickups (60s PAF's)
    - The white SG was a backup to the Monkey cherry SG (where previously the cherry SG was a backup to the Fender Stratocaster)
    - Recently, Tony mentioned that all of Paranoid was recorded with the Monkey SG, except Paranoid the song
    - I've heard a few times that his white Custom was stolen or lost in the same year that he got it
    - The other white SG that Tony used was a 1962 SG Junior, a gift from Leslie West, later modded by John Birch
    - The Dawk white SG is a 70s SG, not the original Paranoid one
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  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by sterling#sound View Post
    AFAIK or can remember:

    - The white SG Custom was a 1963 with original humbucker pickups (60s PAF's)
    - The white SG was a backup to the Monkey cherry SG (where previously the cherry SG was a backup to the Fender Stratocaster)
    - Recently, Tony mentioned that all of Paranoid was recorded with the Monkey SG, except Paranoid the song
    - I've heard a few times that his white Custom was stolen or lost in the same year that he got it
    - The other white SG that Tony used was a 1962 SG Junior, a gift from Leslie West, later modded by John Birch
    - The Dawk white SG is a 70s SG, not the original Paranoid one
    Thanks for the info Sterling , I knew I read somewhere this white SG was not the Dawk modified one ! got a picture of Tony's Leslie West SG , looks a bit like Tony's monkey after it got modified by John Birch.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by sterling#sound View Post
    AFAIK or can remember:

    - The white SG Custom was a 1963 with original humbucker pickups (60s PAF's)
    - The white SG was a backup to the Monkey cherry SG (where previously the cherry SG was a backup to the Fender Stratocaster)
    - Recently, Tony mentioned that all of Paranoid was recorded with the Monkey SG, except Paranoid the song
    - I've heard a few times that his white Custom was stolen or lost in the same year that he got it
    - The other white SG that Tony used was a 1962 SG Junior, a gift from Leslie West, later modded by John Birch
    - The Dawk white SG is a 70s SG, not the original Paranoid one
    Some great info sterling#sound, thanks.

    So if Tony's memory is correct, then the photo session (above) at Regent Sound was during the writing/recording of the song Paranoid.

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollerjoint View Post

    Some great info sterling#sound, thanks.

    So if Tony's memory is correct, then the photo session (above) at Regent Sound was during the writing/recording of the song Paranoid.
    You're absolutely right. That in itself is an amazing factoid - and documented!
    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSterlingSound

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  33. #33

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    Something very weird about this guitar is that it seems to have both a righty and lefty pickguard on it.

    Reminds me of The Everly Brothers guitars.
    Another weird thing is that Tony refers to this guitar as a Les Paul instead of an SG, which while technically true is still unusual.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe fiend View Post
    The "Monkey" SG was stolen on a couple occasions. One of the people who stole it, believed that Tony had put a curse on him when a bunch of horrible things began to happen to him. So he mailed the guitar back to Tony and begged him to take the curse off. I think the "Monkey" SG is in a Hard Rock Cafe somewhere isn't it?

    It is:

    yep that's the story it was returned because of a curse!
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    Quote Originally Posted by leftytony View Post
    Another weird thing is that Tony refers to this guitar as a Les Paul instead of an SG, which while technically true is still unusual.
    The first SG's was named Les Paul, but he objected due to the "ugly" shape, hence it was renamed Solid Guitar
    95% of everything i say is pure bullshit just for the fun of it. The other 95% is damn serious!
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  36. #36
    Wicked Cricket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Underdog View Post
    The first SG's was named Les Paul, but he objected due to the "ugly" shape, hence it was renamed Solid Guitar
    "ugly"? ha! it's the perfect guitar for Sabbath looks like it has 2 horns...
    "Music is so sacred to me that I can’t hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
    R. Blackmore

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Underdog View Post
    The first SG's was named Les Paul, but he objected due to the "ugly" shape, hence it was renamed Solid Guitar
    It's still weird that he called it a Les Paul though because he's a big SG player and refers to his other Gibson SG's as an SG as opposed to a Les Paul and the Gibson Les Paul SG's are identical to Gibson SG's except for what they say on the headstock.

  38. #38
    Billy Underdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wicked Cricket View Post
    "ugly"? ha! it's the perfect guitar for Sabbath looks like it has 2 horns...
    Well, according to Les Paul it was, and it was a few years prior to Sabbath I've gone from loving LP's more towards SG's the last years. Both great, ofcourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by leftytony View Post
    It's still weird that he called it a Les Paul though because he's a big SG player and refers to his other Gibson SG's as an SG as opposed to a Les Paul and the Gibson Les Paul SG's are identical to Gibson SG's except for what they say on the headstock.
    Not if it's one of the first "SG" models, cause they're actually named Les Paul.

    Check out the head on this one:

    95% of everything i say is pure bullshit just for the fun of it. The other 95% is damn serious!
    Til įrs ok frišar ok forn sišr

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