George's SG (1964, sn# 227666, Babiuk, p. 182) was given to one of the Badfinger guitarists who gave it to his brother and was eventually auctioned for lots of money. I wouldn't use this link as gospel, but the story has shown up in lots of other places.
As far as I know, you are correct about the "Fool" SG. I don't know where Eric got that guitar but, apparently, it never stayed in tune (hee, hee). It had a plain old trapeze tailpiece on it for a while in a (vain) effort to improve its performance. Obviously, it sounded OK.
The first time I saw Todd with that guitar was the recording of "Sons of 1984" in Central Park. I'm still waiting to get paid for that session.
I know better than to question Paul about his repair knowledge, so I just have to call him out on trivia.
I think we have he same book for reference: Beatles Gear, Andy Babiuk.
The story about the auction of the guitar is actually taken from the official Christie's Auction release, which can be reviewed at the following link: Auction announcment (it's a pdf). And the following is the link to the actual auction results from Christies: Christies Listing.
I hope Paul doesn't think I was questioning his repair knowledge. Clearly he knows what's what.
Oh man.....you guys got me. I THANK both Josh & Doc. My info was based upon an amalgam of different published stories.
I'm going to delete that post tomorrow (I want Peter to see the "Thank you") because [as you guys know] I am an active enemy of misinformation & I don't wish to contribute to its meteoric presence on the web.
Josh... I had the privilege of doing a close-up 'hands off' inspection of Todd's Fool SG before a show in '88. It was 'nothing to write home about', even after extensive repairs & restoration. Todd cites his replicas of that SG as 'better guitars'. Man, I hope you finally get paid for your session WITH interest.
Doc: I've been putting off getting that book for years. I think I'll pull the trigger on it. Thanks for the info source. :)
Thanks again guys. Your corrective input is ALWAYS welcome :)
Now I'm off to chisel all this egg off my face. It may be an all day affair! :) :) :)
That is a wealth of information and I thank-you for sharing. I currently have a number of Wenzel Rossmeisl's "Roger" instruments (you likely know Wenzel was Roger's father) in my shop for restoration. Just the husks, which were acquired from a surviving worker of Wenzel's shop by a collector, who had them shipped over from Germany. Some cool, German style archtop jazz guitars.
Quote: "I currently have a number of Wenzel Rossmeisl's "Roger" instruments"
Thank you for Sharing that.
Luthiers interested in the History of Archtop Guitars.
May find the link below, highly interesting exhibiting great examples of that Maker.
It's clear to see the Design Influences later Developed at Rickenbacker, were already clearly established.
The many various Makers links at the top cover many Extraordinary European Influences and are worth the time spent exploring them.
Thank You for your Many Valuable Contributions, that Grace, Franks Great Forum.
Quote: "I know better than to question Paul about his repair knowledge, so I just have to call him out on trivia."
Thank you for the links as they are an interesting read, I was unaware existed.
Dhani has been busy making Pictures of many of these Guitars, available in the form of an App, that enables them to be more closely examined.
With respect, the problem appears to be that being Friends and Colleagues in the Same Industry, there were several similar Gibson SG's involved around these Characters, during the same time.
As the Instruments appear to be very similar, of the same Model and Year, they easily get Mixed Up. It's also probably impossible to realistically imagine how expensive, rare and difficult it was in Great Britain to obtain Gibson Guitars at the time, because of Trade Embargo's and High Tariffs. You would be thinking about a Year's Typical Wages for an Average Working Person, so there were not a lot of them about, which also narrows peoples viewpoint regarding what actually happened.
The SG Paul is referring to, was Refinished for want of a better word for the Artwork, and had its Serial No. completely sanded out.
It was a 64 or 65, as six screw pickguards were not used prior to1964. So obviously not the 1964 SG Guitar you are specifically referring to, whose Serial No. was 227666. Later, the Badfinger recipient of this Gibson Instrument, Committed Suicide, so it went to his Brother, who stored then eventually sold it.
George stopped using SG's around the time Eric started using his SG, and Badfingers Tom Evans started using his SG, which is what I believe is the entirely understandable source of any confusion inherent to these events. Eric has sometimes talked about Les Paul's, while he is really referring to an SG. Firstly because they were Marketed and Retailed at the time specifically as an Additional Les Paul Models, and secondly because Eric used one as a working replacement for his Les Paul stolen at a rehearsal, and thus naturally thought of it as such. Product Marketing and The Human Minds Workings are indeed, Wonders to Behold!
To be honest, every Gibson SG I encountered from that period, seemed to me to have a problem with the neck. It was clear to me the design of the neck to body joint was wholly insubstantial altogether because of the depth of the Double Cutaway's, the lack of even minimal Side Support and the shallowness of the Instruments Body. Although Gibson eventually successfully addressed the issue. With complete respect to the many Great Guitarists that love them. Because of this early lamentable experience with deplorable vagrancies in stability, I have always tried to given these Instruments as wide a berth as humanly possible. Perhaps completely unfairly, after they finally fixed the problem.
I think it may be something to do with the Fact that I have been directly involved with some Iconic Designers, and it's been my experience that the Greatest Designers tend to get the Fundamentals Right virtually from the Get Go. I'm sure thats not a Universal Truism, and accept that, but it's simply been my happy experience. Stunningly, an Iconic Design can be made with just Two or Three Strokes of a Pencil. The Shape is That Strong you see. As for owning a Gibson SG fitted with a sideways operating Maestro Unit. My mind is at times, utterly boggled at what internal forces drives certain Guitar Manufacturers and Musicians? THAT neck body joint, AND a sideways operating Maestro Unit? I shudder to think about the inherent instability of such an Instrument, from that Era, yet they Looked Amazing. Whilst the short lived Les Paul Connection certainly helped sell them to some people, as the Traditional Design of Les Paul Sales, as a matter of Fact, were not impressive at all, at first.
I think Some Musicians are constantly striving for something, but don't really know what it is they are seeking.
Maybe that drive, and the array of Instruments they go through, are merely symptoms, a part of their Musically Creative Journey.
Even when they owned Great Instruments, all of the Beatles Guitarists performed Highly Destructive Modifications either to the Appearance or the Structure of the Instruments.
This is not an uncommon occurrence and Luthiers regularly see and deal with the lamentable results. Deep down, I think it's all symptomatic of the Search for Identity, discovering Who they are, What they are, and Why they are here.
The feeling that they are Special and Distinctive and have an Important Gift to Share with the World Around Them. Vast Amounts of Money and World Wide Fame. Being Widely Recognised as Highly Creative, Critically Acclaimed, Tremendously Talented Individuals, and as a Group, clearly was Not Enough to Satisfy, whatever was Missing in their Soul.
To me, this is the most Interesting Aspect of these Musicians Journey through Guitars, and what I would talk with them about personally.
In reality, I see these Outward Expressions to be Distinctive as Merely Symptoms, Signs of a Deeper Inward Craving for Life. A Profound Need for Something More Significant than simply all the material aspects of success alone.
Things that we as the masses, delude ourselves so often will bring us True Happiness in Life. Quite Clearly they do not, and perhaps that is the Great Lesson of all we can learn from these Hugely Successful, Talented Artists, that occupy the Interest of so Many.
If they can be genuinely assisted in their Search for What is Truly Significant in Life, perhaps they could go on to become Profoundly Significant to a Degree that Exceeds Beyond, Anything they could ever Ask, Think or Imagine. Experienced Luthiers can make this kind of Significant Difference to an Musical Instrument. But Individuals can also need this kind of Significant Difference, made within their Lives.
There is a Key to Life to be Found!
The Alternative is all too graphically exposed by Badfinger.
Where Money, Control and Conflict, eventually led to Two Suicides, despite all the Talent, Celebrity Support from The Beatles and Apple Records, Massive Hit Recordings and All the Apparent Trappings of Material Success.
In regard to Eric's, Fool SG, it didn't really become known with that name until later when the Artists had established Great Influence through their work at Apple Records and with various belongings related to several Members of The Beatles, who of course owned the Company.
"The Fool" alias was only adopted by the Artists later, then retrospectively applied to Eric's SG which was actually Repainted somewhat earlier. His Instrument was Primed all over, and Painted with Enamel Paint, including the neck. Of course it flaked off, whenever the Instrument was Played.
Eric fixed the Vibrato Arm in place by reversing it. As a Veritable String Bender he tried New Vibratos without Springs and Fixed Trapeze Tailpieces, much as he preferred Fender Stratocasters to have Fixed Tailpieces, or at least have the Vibrato System Entirely Blocked Off. I think the main thing about it was that with this Guitar Eric Discovered what he came to call his "Woman Tone" a Hallmark Sonic Signature. In the link below, he explains this on precisely the Guitar that Paul has kindly brought to our attention.
Changing the Kluson Machines Out for Grover's was De Rigueur amongst Guitarists in this Country at the Time. Li'l Jimmy Page, hugely influential on the Session Scene, loved the Les Paul Customs Big Tuners massively, as did Most Players, (myself included), and inevitably that Modification too was Performed on this Guitar too. Indeed, I know Lead Guitarists that worked for me later, who bought Brand New Gibson's, immediately Drilling Out their Headstocks to Fit Grover's. Sometimes with String Posts that were completely the wrong length, (it was difficult to obtain such parts in this Country in those days, you had to take what you could get) and they saw that as a Great Improvement.
If you will forgive a self reference, looking back I suppose I was very much an exception to that Vogue. I always kept my Quality Instruments "Stock" and frankly thought the almost ubiquitous trend to swap Tuners, to be completely crazy. Wasting perfectly good components, admittedly for better replacements, but very often long, long before they were ever really required. A practise that often left disfiguring holes in the rear of the Headstock, along with what was at times, ridiculous looking, Wrong Length String Posts, that meant String Break Angles beyond the Nut were far from Optimal. Although I too preferred Custom Model Grover's, and do so to this day. I have never as yet ever needed to Change Out any of those Original Tuners, which all Still Work as Perfectly as the day the Instruments were Originally Purchased.
Marijke Koger is quoted as describing what has become known as "The Fool" Design as “Good versus Evil, Heaven versus Hell, and the Power of Music in the Universe to Rise Above it all as a Force of Good.”
As I stated earlier, I see these Outward Artistic Expressions and the Deeply instilled Urge to be Distinctive as Merely Symptoms. Signs of a Deep Inward Craving for Meaning in Life.
A Profound Need for True Significance. Can we take that as perhaps the Important Lesson, we can Learn From these Famous Guitarists and Their Guitars?
George always had Tremendously Deeply Human Qualities, Approachable and Social with a Great Sense of Humour.
Here's one of his Humourous Films set in the Thirties that underline some Interesting and Relevant Points.
Here's a Beatles Reunion, you are sure to enjoy at Georges Henley Home, just a few miles along the road from me.
If anyone here is particularly interested in The Beatles.
A Fora Friend, Brian Kehew has Produced and Exhaustive Account of All Their Recording Sessions and the Technical Equipment they used, but it is quite expensive.