Welcome to the forum! Here are a lot of nice people willing to help you in all your guitar related problems. About the guitar now, I'd suggest a pickguard. Just the pickguard. A white one. Then let the guitar be the way it is. Maybe also a pair of Burstbuckers or P.A.Fs...
Add a pickguard and leave it how it is, that patina is gorgeous! Love the Bigsby, can't wait to put one on my SG. Then again it looks like the same guitar in your avatar, so just put that black pick guard back on and she's golden!
Thanks folks, I suspected it may be better as a relic. Mojo galore. Someone's done a real "Townshend" on her at some stage (or backed over in drive?), headstock, neck and body repair - but she plays solid as a rock.
Yes, re pickguard, I only took it off to check color under, then photographed in harsh light to show it's worst. Have plenty more "flattering" pics ;-)
Also just found an original Gibson embossed pup/cover for basically free (bridge), so on the lookout for a neck pup to match. The passive EMG's are hot, hot, hot - but spoil the look somewhat.
Lots I don;t know about this one, but I DO know it's a tone machine!
Sweet......pretty much what I was thinking, more a question of whether to go down the "sand it down, fill the cracks and refinish" road. I guess the nitro checking is kinda cool though
Incidentally, I've managed to capture closer to the actual color it looks in person......took bigsby off too. Seems it's been mucked around a bit over the years, there's filling where it's had a ABR-1 fitted (one post hole moved a few mm), also....what's up with the scallop in the pick guard where the cutaway bevel would be (if it had any!).....other non-beveled cutaways of this period seem to have the guard shallower at that point, to follow the 90 degree edge of the cutaway. The 5-ply pickguard seems original though as shown by fading and hole placement. The ol' Gibson "grab'n'go" build I guess?
Anyway, that's all semantics, she's a player (in a good way!)
Clean in half. Well, maybe not so clean. She's been in four pieces at some stage....body in half, neck off at heel, headstock off from under volute to across both E pegs. Pegboard repair is really nice....the rest, not so. But she still plays like a demon, resonates like a wooden bell !
oh man, don't change a thing on this guitar. the fact that it's been smashed and repaired resonates loud with me. I always loved the Who, but the first time I saw Pete T. destroy a good guitar it sickened me and I turned away in actual horror. I hated that bit, and still do.
I always wanted to go gather up the pieces and try to put one back together, just like yours. Wouldn't it be cool to make a journey to try and find PT and ask him to sign it?
Even if he didn't break it, that would speak volumes.
So I believe that to own and play a guitar that's been through Hell is an important thing to do. Especially if it sounds good. Someone worked hard to put the instrument back together, and that is worth celebrating IMHO. Your guitar is like the cat who's got maybe seven lives left. I'd love to learn more of the story.
I'd listen carefully to the sound of it before changing the pickups. It would be great to get a pair of old Tar-backs to restore it to factory, but $$$$$$$$$$. And maybe not worth it, if the EMGs have a tone you like. You've got a lot of choices for pickups. I prefer '57 Classics, but it's so subjective... Bare Knuckles might be better for a wounded warrior like this one. I love your description: "plays like a demon, resonates like a wooden bell." Name her Andromache (Amazon "man fighter"), or River, or Valeria, or Eowyn, or just Seven Left.
"YOUR JOURNEY TO THE DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE IS NOW COMPLETE...' --Darth Vader
Col Mustard, I want to thank you for your comments - they have helped me realize the (non-monetary) value of honoring this guitar in it's relic state....
"...Someone worked hard to put the instrument back together, and that is worth celebrating IMHO."
Awesome. And so true. Can always count on Michigan to tell it like it is (I have a good friend here from Grand Rapids).
Incidentally, I have a match set of Bare Knuckles (The Mule) in one of my LP's and they kick arse (ass). Also LOVE my Rio Grande "Texas / BBQ" combo in another LP ('84 Studio Standard). That thing growls like it's alive.
Recently bought a bitzer Tele Thinline with all miss-matched parts.....solely for the Gibson embossed pup someone had stuck in the bridge. Still don't know whether it's just the cover or if there's a T-back under there as still in transit....the suspense is killing me! Keep ya posted.
That SG has a vibe, for sure. My friend Lydia has a similar one, that has survived car wrecks, bar fights and a move from San Francisco to Morocco and back. The finish is cracking in indescribably lovely spiderweb patterns around the old repairs .
I ran a shop for years. I had a strict policy that I would not refinish any vintage instrument. Period. I would, however, meticulously clean the instrument ridding it of all dirt and oxidation present. Gently seal any open and exposed wood surfaces. Adjust and restore the action to the proper settings. And polish the remaining finish with total care to not damage a single spot. I never waived from that policy as I felt it was neither a benefit nor fair to the instrument or the owner.
Only had one customer that got upset over that policy when he came in with a somewhat abused early Shoreline Gold Strat with about 60% original finish remaining and he wanted a full sand down and repainting of the instrument. I refused. He left and never returned. Didn't hurt my feeling a bit and I was glad that I was not the one to ruin that classic.
So SouthPoll, clean this old baby up and keep it polished and of course loose those pickups in it now and find some more fitting such a fine old gal! I believe you'll never regret that move.....
So that's seems to be the general consensus is leaning toward not refinishing????!....(kidding btw, pretty much unanimous huh - apart from maybe the Stones fan/Viet Vet who suggested "Paint It Black") ;-)