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SG Special (serial no. 561569)

Gibson American
Pete Townshend

Not on view

Pete Townshend used the SG Special almost exclusively from 1968 to 1971, when Gibson changed the production specifications. He played guitars like this one at many historic concerts, including The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1968), Woodstock (1969), and the Isle of Wight Festivals (1969, 1970). Townshend regularly smashed the instruments onstage and therefore purchased them by the dozens, going to Manny’s Music on West 48th Street in New York. This guitar was customized by removing the Vibrola and tremolo arm units, leaving screw holes visible and the guitar strings attached directly to the stop tailpiece. It was smashed onstage in 1969 and repaired after being sold at auction in 2000. John Entwistle commented that Townshend got his best sound from SG model guitars.

Technical Description:
Mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard; 24¾ in. scale; cherry-red finish; set neck with pearloid dot inlays and white binding to fingerboard; inlaid mother-of-pearl Gibson logo on headstock; two P-90 single-coil pickups, three-way selector switch, two volume and two tone controls; nickel wrap-around tailpiece and Grover Rotomatic tuners, black and silver plastic knobs, three-ply black and white plastic pickguard; vibrato bridge, tailpiece, and tuners replaced, break at neck-body joint repaired

SG Special (serial no. 561569), Gibson (American, founded Kalamazoo, Michigan 1902), Mahogany, rosewood, nickel, plastic

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