The SG Guitar Book (Softcover)
By Phil O'Keefe |
50 Years of Gibson's Stylish Solid Body Guitar
Few guitar designs truly reach iconic status, and it usually takes a combination of factors for them to achieve it. First they have to be broadly popular with players - only genuinely effective musical tools need apply. Uniqueness or groundbreaking design elements certainly don't hurt. They also need to be accepted by and associated with master musicians and legendary projects. The SG easily meets all of these criteria, and in spite of the continued popularity of the Les Paul, it is the best-selling Gibson electric guitar model of all time. Very few guitar models can claim over 50 years of continuous production and the kind of success and acceptance that the Gibson SG has enjoyed; in his latest book, award-winning author Tony Bacon turns his attention towards the SG and delves deeply into its storied history.
What You Need To Know
- The SG Guitar Book is a 8.5 x 11" softcover book that joins other books about guitars written by the same author, such as his The Les Paul Guitar Book and The Telecaster Guitar Book. It takes a three-part approach to covering the Gibson SG, with sections on the guitar's development and history, loads of gorgeous photos, and a comprehensive list of all the SG models from its introduction right up to and including the 2015 model year.
- Written in a relaxed and conversational style, the book is an easy read but still contains loads of interesting and useful information. The large number of color photographs makes the book suitable for display on your coffee table for those times when you'd rather drool over pictures than dig into details.
- The discontinuation of the single cutaway Les Paul and its replacement by the SG all those years ago is a head-scratcher for many, but the book explains how at the time the decision was based on sound business principles. The Les Paul's sales had slowed, and Ted McCarty's sexy, thin, and radically beveled design for its replacement went on to become incredibly popular. The book describes the decisions and guitars that influenced and led to the creation of the first SGs in the early 1960s, and includes data on all the models that followed - Standards, Customs, Juniors, Supremes, Specials, Deluxes, Signature Models and stuff you've probably forgotten about or never even heard of - they're all here.
- There are lots of interesting stories about famous users and well-known SGs. For example, while you may know that Todd Rundgren eventually purchased Eric Clapton's "Fool" SG from his Cream days, did you know it was also once owned by Jackie Lomax and that it was also used by XTC guitarist Dave Gregory on their Skylarking LP?
- The interview segments with many famous SG users (Clapton, Krieger, Harrison, Young, Townshend, Zappa, Trucks, Tony Iommi and many others) covers their thoughts regarding the model. You're bound to learn about players who have embraced the SG that you didn't realize used one, as well as many famous songs and recordings to which they contributed.
- The model database includes model names and numbers of all the various SG versions that have been released, including similar and associated / related models such as the Melody Maker and EDS-1275 and EBSF-1250 double neck models. You'll also find a model timeline that covers when each model was introduced, and a serial number database with decoder tools to help you gain new insights into your own SG.
- This book is currently unavailable in hard cover.
This is a well-researched, written and entertaining book that will keep guitarists interested and informed in the process. With a wealth of information about all the various models that have been released over the years and gobs of cool color photos to gawk over, it's a valuable resource for collectors and those interested in SG minutiae. The added information from fans and well-known SG players is also entertaining. While it may contain a lot of information that is familiar to hardcore SG fanatics, it's still likely to surprise and inform all but the most knowledgeable lovers of the model, and remains approachable for those who know little or nothing about it. As an SG owner myself, I very much enjoyed reading it, and it has found a permanent place in my guitar reference library.
The SG Guitar Book: 50 Years of Gibson's Stylish Solid Guitar ($29.95 MSRP, $21.63 "street")
Backbeat Books product web page
The SG Guitar Book: 50 Years Of Gibson's Stylish Solid Guitar
By Tony Bacon
Paperback: 136 pages
Publisher: Backbeat Books (August 21, 2015)
Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
Phil O'Keefe is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer / producer and the Senior Editor of Harmony Central. He has engineered, produced and performed on countless recording sessions in a diverse range of styles, with artists such as Alien Ant Farm, Jules Day, Voodoo Glow Skulls, John McGill, Michael Knott and Alexa's Wish. He is a former featured monthly columnist for EQ magazine, and his articles and product reviews have also appeared in Keyboard, Electronic Musician and Guitar Player magazines.