Tonight, I remembered a guitar. It’s not an uncommon thing to happen; very often, while working or pretending I’m listening to my wife, my mind will drift through a catalog of all the guitars I’ve come across over the years, pausing on a few familiar favorites but eventually coming to rest on a particular instrument for whatever reason. I’ll dissect it in my mind, then open the laptop and do a little research. It’s a pastime of mine.
Tonight, I remembered a guitar, one from the early days of long drives and short shows. I was in a band out of central PA, performing in converted churches and fire halls. We played frequently in the area with our friends’ bands, and as is common, we’d all look out for each other and offer shows when a slot opened. One of these “Brother Bands” with whom we frequently rocked had a guitarist that favored Sunn amps and SGs.
Tonight, I remembered a mid-1970s Gibson SG Standard. What makes this guitar memorable for me is that it wasn’t the ubiquitous cherry red. Instead, it was silver. Yes, silver. It’s the only one I’ve ever seen in that color and I have no doubt in my mind that it was original. This guitar had all the standard features of the era: block inlays, a bound neck, harmonica bridge, the normal switch position and chrome hardware. Really cool guitar. But what really gets me is that color. It all comes back to that color…
When I say this guitar is silver, I’m not talking about silver sparkle or silverburst, I mean a gorgeous-looking silver. When you see a late ‘70s Gibson Les Paul Custom in silverburst, the color you see in the center is exactly the color of this guitar. Its color had faded ever so slightly, beginning to green but not losing its brightness. A breathtaking instrument. I only had the chance to strum a few chords on it in those days–if I’m honest, I don’t think its owner liked me very much–but I remember being immediately struck by how sweetly it rang out acoustically, with a low and slinky action with very little buzz to speak of. It also had old-style low/wide Gibson frets and a smooth rosewood fretboard. The owner of this guitar also had an early to mid ‘90s SG Special in black that was also nice, but that guitar never wowed me the way that silver Standard did. Mmmm.
The other crazy thing about this guitar is that I can’t find anything about it on the internet. No matter what search I perform, I can’t seem to conjure up a photograph or even a verbal acknowledgement that there are others out there. Now, I don’t think for a moment that it’s the only silver SG in existence, and knowing Gibson it’s highly unlikely that this specific guitar was a one-off. Even so, sating my thirst for even a glimpse of this guitar seems to be a nigh-impossible task!
I’m putting out an APB for these guitars. If you have one, I want to know about it!
EDIT: finally found a photo of one online. See above.
-Michael James Adams