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  1. #1

    Default Monkey, Tony Iommi's 1965 Gibson SG Special

    I didn't see a thread for this so I thought I'd make one myself. As you may know, Tony used a left handed 1965 Gibson SG Special named Monkey due to the monkey sticker, from 1969 until John Birch made him a custom guitar in 1975. Tony used this guitar on most of Black Sabbath's classic songs including War Pigs, Iron Man, Children Of The Grave, Symptom Of The Universe, and many others.

    Supposedly what happened was that Tony started recording the 1st album on a Fender but the pickup blew so he went to a converted SG which he traded with a right handed guy for Monkey. However, these pictures were taken at the Star Club and they show Tony playing Monkey.



    Since Black Sabbath's last performance at the club was on 1 October 1969, that means that Monkey was the SG used on the 1st album and not a right handed one.
    As for the technical details on this guitar:
    Gibson SG Special
    1965
    cherry finish
    2 P90 pickups (originally with black covers, replaced in 1969 with chrome covers and black mounting rings)
    22 frets
    dot inlays
    Les Paul truss rod cover until around 1972
    monkey sticker added around 1972
    2 tone and volume knobs
    Tune O Matic bridge
    Used on most of Black Sabbath (Wicked World is confirmed to have used a Fender Stratocaster, it's very likely that there are other songs on the album that use a Fender as well) and Paranoid (except for Paranoid where he uses a 1963 Gibson Les Paul SG Custom). Used for all electric guitar parts on Master Of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and Sabotage.
    Last edited by leftytony; 09-14-2017 at 09:57 AM. Reason: fixing a mistake

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leftytony View Post
    monkey sticker added around 1972
    Sometime between August 8, 1971 and September 27, 1971 Tony puts orange circles on the Gibson



    Sometime between October 5, 1971 and January 24, 1972 Tony removes the orange circles

    Sometime between January 13, 1973 and March 11, 1973 Tony puts the monkey sticker on the Gibson

  3. #3

    Default

    Close-up of the monkey sticker


  4. #4

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    I wonder why he added all of these stickers, they seem pretty pointless to me.

  5. #5

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    Not sure if it's the original one, but saw A Monkey SG in NYC's Hard Rock Cafe back in 2013.

    Quote Originally Posted by leftytony View Post
    I wonder why he added all of these stickers, they seem pretty pointless to me.
    Guitarists like to customize their axes. I used to have my hometowm hockey teams sticker in the pickguard of my Tokai Les Paul
    "The consequence of conscience/Is that you'll be left somewhere/Swinging in the air"-Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010) R.I.P. King Of Metal
    "Just take a look around you what do you see/Pain, suffering, and misery/It's not the way that the world was planned/It's a pity you don't understand" - Geezer Butler
    "If god is in heaven/How can this happen here" - Phil Lynott (1949-1986)

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by -E5150 StarWanderer- View Post
    Not sure if it's the original one, but saw A Monkey SG in NYC's Hard Rock Cafe back in 2013.
    That was his actual guitar, not a replica.

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