2006 Gibson Custom Shop Elliot Easton SG
The original Gibson Les Paul was not a commercially successful product. The thing weighed too much, and cost way more than a Fender. In fact, the competition from Fender guitars weighed quite a bit less too. You stand with a guitar as heavy as the old Les Paul guitars were for an hour or so, and you really start to feel the strain on your shoulders.
In 1960 the old style Les Paul with the single cutaway and the maple cap was replaced with the new Les Paul. The newer version had a double cutaway, a thinner mahogany body, and it didn't have a maple top at all. This guitar would, in time, become known as the Gibson SG.
The man who these guitars were named after did not like his name on the new Les Paul. He felt the neck was too thin to be stable, and so the instrument would be too easily damaged. His thoughts about that proved to be correct, and Gibson had to find ways to make the instrument more durable. They used the engraved truss rod covers which said 'Les Paul' on them until they ran out of them, then the guitar became known as the Gibson SG. The solid guitar.
People don't often realize it, but the solid guitar became the single most successful product Gibson ever produced. It out-sold their most famous acoustic guitars, and it outsold their first and most famous solid body guitar, the one which the SG had been born sharing a name with.
Over the years many an artist of the six strings would utilize the SG to make legendary music with. Tony Iommi of the band Black Sabbath would become the godfather of some newfangled, and loud sounding music called 'heavy metal.' He'd be matched in his dedication to the SG by an Australian named Angus Young who also make loud, loud noises with his band, AC/DC.
Before Tony and Angus were famous a guy named Eric Clapton was tearing up the music scene playing one of those double horned, mahogany bodied solid guitars with the super trio 'Cream.' His was painted in psychedelic colors. It became one of the world's most famous musical instruments, and it had a name too, 'The Fool.' It's important to know a musical instrument of any variety is something beyond caring what kind of music it is used to create; and so the SG is perfectly capable of being utilized by a master of jazz, country and western, or anything else you can think to dabble in. Create your own new genre of music with one, if you like.
Another famous musician from the Berklee College of Music, Elliot Easton ruled the FM radio airwaves during the decade of the 1980s. Elliot is a left handed player from New York City, and besides playing guitar, he sang backing vocals for the hit making band, The Cars.
The Cars were all about the good times, and their bubblegum pop rock music brings back loads of memories for many millions of person, and there is no reason the music can't make for more memories today. It's just fun stuff to listen to, and Elliot Easton's guitar was a huge part of it all.
The Cars' debut album sold six million copies. They seemed to fuse punk, synthesizer music, minimalism, and humor into their mix. At a time when MTV and music videos were vitally important to the youth of the nation, the music videos of The Cars would imprint on the minds of the masses.
When the time for the final encore came for The Cars, Elliot Easton was not finished. He's not finished still, as he is alive and well. Elliot went on to play with The New Cars, and Credence Clearwater Revisited. He's a guitarist with a diverse skill set, a masterful stage presence, and a desire to play to the crowd. So it is no wonder America's great Gibson Guitar company has honored Elliot Easton with a signature series SG guitar.
Because the SG Standard is the single most successful product Gibson has ever made, there are quite a lot of signature series SG guitars by Gibson. The Elliot Easton SG is highly unusual in that it came in both left handed versions, for Elliot is a left handed musician, and right handed versions; as most guitarist are, of course, right handed.
These are Gibson Custom Shop guitars. What that means is the very most skilled of all Gibson craftsmen and women work on these. Those skilled employees of the highest order don't work for low wages, and when Gibson builds something in the Custom Shop, only the finest materials are used. These are not cheap six string electric fiddles.
Easton himself also plays an arctic white SG, but the signature guitars are all done up in Pelham blue. You have Gibson build you one new, and you are looking at spending over five thousand dollars. You can find used ones, however, and those are usually priced below four thousand. Why so much?
Only the highest grade of materials are used. The body is a one piece slab of choice mahogany, the neck is also a solid mahogany piece, and the fingerboard? For this model, Gibson uses ebony, a material many, including myself, feel is superior to rosewood for a guitar's fingerboard.
You can see from the images the guitar comes with a tremolo bar. This isn't just any trem though, this is the ABR-1 Maestro tremolo system, and the tailpiece is ingraved with the words 'Tiki man.' There is a spacer piece between the neck pickup, and the fingerboard engraved with the name of Mr. Easton.
What about the humbucking pickups? Those are two of Gibson's finest and most coveted, the '57 Classics. When someone wants a guitar that sounds like a Gibson from the early 1960s, or the years just prior, they want a guitar with those famous '57 Classic humbuckers.
The metal hardware is nickel, and the tuning machines are vintage. This guitar also comes with a Gibson Custom Shop hard shell case, as a fine instrument like this deserves the best protection.