Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
jimmiJAMM

Whassup, Les?

Recommended Posts

For the time, and his ideas, it was pretty radical. They took his idea, changed it without even telling him. I'd be pissed too [drool]

 

I don't really care the SG, all of the ones I have played have been neck heavy, and feel awkward to play, but then again, I'm not a "true rocker" [biggrin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But the idea was to make a sportier version of the LP to compete with the Fender's rock-n-roll Strat market and that's what they did. The hardware was all basically the same anyway, right? Sounds like his ego was bruised to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I'm not so sure it was as much of him not liking it as (like Fred said) tham changing it so radically without any notice.

 

That being said I've always loved the sounds I've heard from a Les Paul over any ones I've heard from an SG.

 

I love a thicker neck as my hand is somewhat large so I love the feel of a Les Paul neck....

 

Plus I think Les Pauls look better, not like some "bar ****"... [blink]

 

I always come back to Les Pauls....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They only redesigned the guitar because LP sales were tanking so it was a company business decision to increase sales. I can't imagine him never seeing so much as a sketch before they hit the assembly line. Was it some kind of top-secret underground production? I like LP's too, great sustain and all that but they're heavy as hell and the selector switch gets in the way of my strumming hand. The limited fret access also kinda hinders my playing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think taking his name off of the SG had more to do with his divorce from Mary Ford than his dislike for the design. I read in an interview from before his death in which he admitted, in his own way, that he was wrong about the SG.

IMO, an SG has LP like tone, with more edge and bite to the treble. After all, the SG Standard is the best selling Gibson of all time, all those players can't be wrong.[blink]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't mean to start a SG vs. LP thread. They're obviously both incredible instruments and timeless works of art. [blink]

 

Was just curious what "exactly" Les didn't like about the newly designed 1961.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Was just curious what "exactly" Les didn't like about the newly designed 1961.

The thin body and sharp cut-aways. I believe he said something to the order of "You could impale yourself on those things"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But the idea was to make a sportier version of the LP to compete with the Fender's rock-n-roll Strat market and that's what they did. The hardware was all basically the same anyway' date=' right? Sounds like his ego was bruised to me.[/quote']

 

 

That said, the SG is an awesome guitar, however the LP is the guitar he designed, not the SG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think - just an opinion here - that the LP always looked more like a more downsized traditional archtop guitar than something more "radical" as the SG.

 

OTOH, in spite of preferring a hollowbody archtop myself, when it comes to a "pure electric" solidbody, I prefer the SG shape largely because it just plain fits my body and playing style better while having great sound.

 

I think the weight and probable greater manufacturing difficulty and cost of the LP likely was a factor in the SG development, especially as has been mentioned, in the competition environment at the time.

 

As for LP not caring for the replacement LP or whatever... Yeah, I can see it, especially given the times. I think Yoda has 90 percent of the situation in hand: the LP is what he designed, not the SG.

 

m

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The electronics were the same, but it was a very different guitar, and had completely abandoned the elements of the guitars he had been playing prior to his signature model. The Les Paul was based on an archtop guitar, with a thick, arched top and a single cutaway. The SG didn't share anything with those instruments, other than the general "guitar" shape.

 

Of course, he could just not like the way it looks. In 1961, the SG compared to the Les Paul is like some of those ESP guitars with the sharp horns compared to a Strat today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Les Paul did not design the Les Paul guitar, he came up with the concept.

 

The Les Paul was originally a jazz guitar, the SG isn't.

 

The SG Standard sells more because it is a full featured Gibson at half the price of a Les Paul and probably half the weight.

 

I am not sure how an all mahogany guitar would have more bite than one with a maple cap all other things being equal.

 

SGs handle and play different, I consider them fragile guitars and I own an Explorer that you'd think is just as fragile, I guess the super thin body on SGs makes me think that way.

 

The upper fret access is definitely an advantage on SGs above LPs, I know I like that a lot about my Explorer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry' date=' the SG has Angus Young written all over it.....In my mind I cant separate the two.

Thats why ill never own one.[/quote']

 

Yeah...wouldn't want to be associated with one of the best pentatonic players ever eh?! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stiffhand...

 

I'm not entirely sure I'd agree that the SG isn't as much a jazz guitar as the LP

 

For example, my #1 guitar is that jazz box that's usually in the avatar; my #2 is a mid 1970s Guild SG clone that in ways sounds more "jazz" than the big box - and that's with 8-38 strings.

 

Joe Pass played a Fender for a long time, and it wasn't rock or country that came out of it.

 

Roy Buchanan played jazz on his Tele.

 

Yeah, Roy's Tele didn't sound like a 175 with heavy flatwounds, but then, a clarinet doesn't sound like a tenor sax.

 

I made some dumb guitar trades years ago because this or that guitar supposedly didn't fit with this or that style. Nowadays I've concluded that's bunk. It's the player, the guitar setup and such - and not even the particular tone.

 

But then, I've also just about concluded that except for bluegrass (and I sometimes wonder about that), pickers tend to decide that this or that makes an instrument jazz or not. I'll admit I can't quite feature a set of bagpipes being considered a jazz instrument, but why not a dulcimer or harpsichord?

 

It's the music, the tunes, the chords, the feel...

 

m

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree milod, I've played in a bunch of Country Bands, and I've played Country with my SG, and my old Les Paul Recording as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stiffhand...

 

I'm not entirely sure I'd agree that the SG isn't as much a jazz guitar as the LP

 

For example' date=' my #1 guitar is that jazz box that's usually in the avatar; my #2 is a mid 1970s Guild SG clone that in ways sounds more "jazz" than the big box - and that's with 8-38 strings.

 

Joe Pass played a Fender for a long time, and it wasn't rock or country that came out of it.

 

Roy Buchanan played jazz on his Tele.

 

Yeah, Roy's Tele didn't sound like a 175 with heavy flatwounds, but then, a clarinet doesn't sound like a tenor sax.

 

I made some dumb guitar trades years ago because this or that guitar supposedly didn't fit with this or that style. Nowadays I've concluded that's bunk. It's the player, the guitar setup and such - and not even the particular tone.

 

But then, I've also just about concluded that except for bluegrass (and I sometimes wonder about that), pickers tend to decide that this or that makes an instrument jazz or not. I'll admit I can't quite feature a set of bagpipes being considered a jazz instrument, but why not a dulcimer or harpsichord?

 

It's the music, the tunes, the chords, the feel...

 

m

[/quote']

I know right? I get a KILLER jazz sound out of my Stratocaster. I just roll down the tone to zero, set it on the neck pickup and use my thumb, and play it out of a Fender Blues Junior amp with the reverb rolled up to 8 or so. I'm not kidding, it's a great Wes Montgomery-ish tone! Typically a Stratocaster wouldn't be considered a jazz guitar either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just my take on this topic:

 

I reckon Les might have suffered from what we all might get from time to time, and that's a good ol' dose of old fashioned jealousy. His heart and soul belonged to the Les Paul. It carried his name and he contributed some of the groundwork towards the design. Then Gibson (unbeknown to Les) design and manufacture quite simply one of the greatest rock and roll guitars of all time....The SG! Now it ain't no LP, but then again it won't give you a slipped disc in your back like an LP and although it doesn't quite have the sustain of an LP, it sure comes bloody close.

 

I think in Les Paul's mind the SG was gonna pose a potential threat to the LP (which as it turned out it wasn't), but then again without over analyzing things Les had his opinions like we all do and it's just possible that's all there was to it.

 

On a personal level, I adore the SG and own a 61 Reissue. BUT, I also drool whenever I hear that distinctive warm, beautiful sound that can only be from a LP. I aspire to have an LP myself soon and just love that sound and look of the guitar. The weight of an LP is the only real down side of the instrument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...