1965 Gibson SG Special - It's a long story

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by CWP0126, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Long time lurker, first time poster here! This is going to be a lengthy post, I apologize in advance, but I think y'all might appreciate the story.

    Here is the story behind my 1965 SG Special:

    During the mid '80s, when i was around 15, I was taking guitar lessons at the local mom and pop music store in my small hometown. One Saturday morning after my lesson I walked upstairs to find this old, ugly, ragged out SG sitting on a stand for $195. It was listed as a '68 on the tag. I fell in love immediately and had to have it! My parents were against it, and it took a lot of nagging before I finally convinced them to let me get it. My main argument was "Its a Gibson SG, they are the best guitars ever made!" They finally relented, I plunked down $15 to secure it, and paid it off in installments.

    This SG was my first real guitar. Someone had stripped the original finish and it looked like they had tried to refinish it with brown shoe polish. The head stock holly was bare. The rosewood fretboard had a lot of grooves, especially up by the nut. It was missing the truss rod cover and the switch tip. Everything else was there, all original controls, both P-90s, lightning bridge, short vibrola with arm, pickguard, strap buttons, poker chip, and the original MOP Gibson inlay. It had some old Grover tuners on it too.

    This is the guitar I first started to really learn to play on, and it was a blast! I painted it white with a spray can at some point and thought it was great, until the same music store had a nice looking Goldtop Les Paul on consignment sitting in the window. I was no longer taking lessons there but was still able to buy the Lester on installments with them. I can't believe they let me pay installments on a consignment piece, I guess they financed it themselves to the owner once they had a committed buyer, but that was different time back then. Very cool of them, it was a nice place to do business with!

    Anyway, once the Les Paul entered the picture I decided to redo (?) the SG. I sanded it down again and spray painted it in primer grey. I plucked the original MOP logo out thinking the original could be reinstalled (ouch, way bad move!) I wrote down the barely visible serial number and got it ready for the upcoming professional automotive body shop spray job. This was around 1988.

    Unfortunately I do not have any real good pictures of this SG when I originally got it, but here are a couple. Please ignore the hat, we were just goofing off - but not much, after all it was the '80s!

    Me and Cory.jpg Me and the SG.jpg
     
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  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Cool story.
    You still have it ?
     
  3. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    So, after I sprayed it in primer grey, I put it in a case to await it's restoration. And there it sat. Forever. I played in bands, quit playing, started playing again, and this poor old SG just waited for me to get back to it. I never forgot about it and the good times we had, and luckily I didn't lose it in the interim. This guitar sat in that case in that condition for about 27 years. Such a shame and a total lack of respect for such a fine instrument.

    SG in Primer.JPG
     
  4. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    I finally broke it free a while ago from its exile and took it to Ben Chafin and Mick Donner of Guitar Repair of Tampa Bay for a complete restoration. This SG finally got what it deserved so many years ago, and what I really wanted for it all along.

    Ben stripped it down and was able to retrieve the serial number! Wow!

    IMG_0598.JPG

    She has a new headstock inlay because of my previous ignorance in removing the original, and has been refinished in Golden Mist Poly.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  5. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    The one in your avatar ... oh my !

    What an intro post ! Welcome to this zoo. I think you'll fit right in.
     
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  6. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    Golden Mist Poly was an original custom finish offered for Gibsons in the 1960s, and is apparently the same as Fender's Shoreline Gold. I choose to have the SG refinished in Golden Mist Poly instead of the traditional Transparent Red because the automotive grey I sprayed on it back in the 80's had absorbed itself enough into the mahogany that it would need some serious sanding to remove, and this SG has seen enough sanding already. Also, a refinish is a refinish, and as I didn't have a choice as far as that is concerned, I thought it would be cool to have the custom color.
     
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  7. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    Here she is in her long deserved glory:

    IMG_0600.JPG
     
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  8. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    And now IMG_0632.JPG IMG_0630.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  9. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    Everything SG keeps telling me my pics are too large to post, so I have to minimize them, which for me is not that easy it seems.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  10. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    Yes, DrB,
    I still have it!
    Thanks for the interest!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  11. Scootermuppet

    Scootermuppet Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the mad house, yep, you'll fit right in :D

    And that has to be 'welcome post of the week'...

    cool story, and cool SG :thumb:
     
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  12. pedecamp

    pedecamp Active Member

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    I look forward to seeing the finished product! Do you still have all the original hardware? Did you have to do a refret and nut replacement?
     
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  13. deMelo

    deMelo Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and congratulations! Very nice SG.

    Btw, I liked how it looked with the shoe polish finish :rolleyes:
     
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  14. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    image.jpg Ok, I figured out how to resize the pics, so y'all can see the finished product.

    All the original hardware was reinstalled except the vibrato, which I do have and will probably have put back on too. The frets were polished and the rosewood was cleaned up. I'm not sure if they replaced the nut, I'll have to ask Ben. The original electronics all are still working, and the P-90s sound killer!

    I really like the Golden Mist Poly. It actually looks different in different lighting conditions. The guys at GRTB did an awesome job and I can't thank them enough!

    Here she is with the exact same 1974 Fender Twin that I played her through back in the 80's. She sounds good through the Twin, but really likes my tweed Gibson GA-18 and two-tone Maestro GA-45!

    I'm glad y'all liked the story, and thanks for all of the welcomes!
     
  15. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg A couple more for you
     
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  16. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    Hi Pedecamp,

    I don't think they did a refret, just polished them up. They didn't mention a refret. I also don't think they replaced the nut but just removed it for painting.

    Thanks!
     
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  17. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    Lol, yeah I know, I should have never messed with it in the first place! Thankfully I gave up on it before I totally destroyed it, I just wish I had gotten her to a pro much sooner!

    Thanks!
     
  18. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    Thanks DrB!
     
  19. CWP0126

    CWP0126 Member

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    Thanks Scooter, I'm glad you liked it!
     
  20. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I now realize the avatar is the same. I thought you had another one in a yellowish green.

    If it was mine, I'd leave it as is without the vibrato. Simple and elegant, yet mean lookin'.

    [​IMG]
     
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