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Il Magnifico

Has the Custom Shop made a historic mistake with SG “Les Paul” Special?

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...I know my english is poor!

Have you ever seen a Gibson Sg Special LES PAUL produced between 1961 and 1966 (year of introduction of the wide pickguard)?

I have a Gibson Special VOS from the 2010 Custom Shop in a beautiful Alpine White finish with two fantastic P90s. The guitar equipped with the Historic Reissue tags, due to the presence of the inclined wrap around bridge (inclined with respect to the string axis) and due to the absence of the vibrato system, should be a new edition of the SG Special produced between 1961 and early 1963. I enclose link with photos and description in Italian: : https://www.mercatinomusicale.com/mm/a_gibson-custom-sg-les-paul-special-vos-2010-alpine-white-historic-collection_id6256775.html

During the three-year period 1961-1963 the first Gibson SGs correctly named SG Les Paul Custom (3 pickups), SG Les Paul Standard (with side to side vibrato system) and SG Les Paul Junior (1 P90) and SG Special appeared. The name Les Paul has disappeared since 1963 and has gone from Side to side vibrato to the Maestro model.

I would like to point out that from 1958 to 1960 it existed and in different configurations 
(different positions of the P90s with respect to the handle and the bridge) the Les Paul Special
 but it was not a SG was a double cutaway (quite another thing from a SG). 
Never in the 1960s was the name Les Paul associated with SG Special (source John Bulli Vol II Sg Guitars). 
Now on my SG Special guitar (as in very few others produced between 2009 and 2010) is reported both on the truss rod cover 
and stamped on the headstock the name Les Paul. Based on the historical data I collected, associating the name Les Paul 
with an SG Special is, in my opinion, a historical mistake committed by the Gibson Custom Shop. 
Also Tony Bacon in his SG Guitar Book reminding us that the SG Specials were produced by the Custom Shop 
between 2001 and 2010, he believes that the designation SG Les Paul Special is a mistake.

I asked for an opinion from Service Europe Gibson but according to them no historical error was made on mine.

On this point I am not convinced and you?

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No, it is not a mistake.  The Les Paul guitar was made through the 1960 model year.  In 1961 the Les Paul (as we know it) was discontinued and was not made again until 1968.  In 1961 the Les Paul (single cutaway, mahogany back, maple top) was replaced by the SG model (double cutaway, mahogany body, no maple cap), but was still referred to as a Les Paul.  The man Les Paul who designed the original Les Paul model did not like the design of the SG and did not want his name on it, so his name was removed after a year or two.

Your 1961 model SG recreation would indeed be a Les Paul model SG and should have the Les Paul name on it to be accurate.

Edited by Twang Gang
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Please find attached links of original 1961 and 1962 original Gibson SG Special (with no Les Paul name on the headstock) . As you can see my theory is correct . 
The name Les Paul name associated with a Gibson SG Special, at the moment, was and is a Custom Shop historical mistake!! 
https://www.gbase.com/gear/gibson-sg-special-1961-cherry-1 
https://www.gbase.com/gear/gibson-sg-special-1961-cherry 
https://www.gbase.com/gear/gibson-sg-special-1962-cherry 

Can someone ask directly to a Vintage Gibson Sg expert and let us know?

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I don’t know about the special, but in 1961 the regular SGs were called Les Paul. Eric Clapton has one if I remember correctly. Also there is this one displayed at the Play it Loud exhibit that was at the MEt and is now in the process of moving to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. 

jocQ110.jpg

tAyQpSR.jpg

I know it’s a bit hard to see, but if you zoom into the truss rod cover of the white “SG”/Les Paul Custom, you’ll see Laster’s signature. 

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All SGs in 1961-1962 were Les Paul models.

A Special wouldn't have a LES PAUL truss rod cove though. Not really a big deal.  You can always just put a blank one on.

 

 

gib62p10.thumb.jpg.a7f637361031942e4ab07cf35e949401.jpggib62p11.thumb.jpg.00cb5b875deca7b8b1d33fe3124016de.jpggib62p12.thumb.jpg.a14dfe3527417bb4aaecf04e1ad3027e.jpg

 

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Hi Michaelsegui, The problem is tha the name Les Paul is not on the trus rod cover but is printed (as on the Les Paul Junior) on the face of the headstock as Les Paul Special (see annexed link: https://www.mercatinomusicale.com/mm/a_gibson-custom-sg-les-paul-special-vos-2010-alpine-white-historic-collection_id6256775.html). That is why I'm talking of Gibson Historical mistake.

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5 minutes ago, Il Magnifico said:

Hi Michaelsegui, The problem is tha the name Les Paul is not on the trus rod cover but is printed (as on the Les Paul Junior) on the face of the headstock as Les Paul Special (see annexed link: https://www.mercatinomusicale.com/mm/a_gibson-custom-sg-les-paul-special-vos-2010-alpine-white-historic-collection_id6256775.html). That is why I'm talking of Gibson Historical mistake.

 

I see now.

Yup.  I have never seen that on an original before.
The only thing consistent with Gibson is their inconsistency.

headstock.jpg

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The way I look at it is:  I have seen a lot of mix ups and non-standard things on vintage Gibsons (mostly acoustics) so if there is an anomaly like this on a reissue, I just think of it as the custom shop trying to replicate an "oops moment" that one of the workers at the Kalamazoo factory had when transitioning to the new body shapes.

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Exactly. It is what I think.

Regarding the non standard things on a vintage 1961 Gibson SG Special see this other link: Is a vintage SG Special 1961 "Les Paul" -first "opps moment" in TV Yellow second "opps moment "in Kalamazzo (from the gibson pages that you posted  at that time were available only two finish cherry and cream and not TV Yellow!!)

 

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