I had owned previously a mint example of a 1961 SG Standard. Got stolen.
Revised: thanks to friend KJ (thanks Kevin) this appears to be a 1962 Gibson SG.
I built one from scratch recently, assembling parts over the years, but it turned out the wood body is not a 1961: it is a 1964.
So I wanted to add a real 1961 Gibson SG Standard to my “collection” (quoted word because I don’t collect guitars: I play them. I play them all, and intensely. The ones that aren’t played, get sold in time).
When I found one that didn’t cost a fortune (1961 Gibson SG Standards are in the like of 15k – 20k USD right now) I bought it @ 6k USD.
This one is actually mint as well, but had had its headstock chopped off (happens frequently to vintage instruments of that era). The fix job had been done excellently therefore – already knowing they work perfectly and most likely, the damage and repair doesn’t affect the sound/tone of the instrument, or not that much – I pulled the trigger.
These are fine instruments. Built in an era long gone, these can be considered as the tail of the last great Gibson production. Sporting real PAFs (the way PAFs are intended, i.e., with the build and tonal characteristics of the late ’50s, so sought after by collectors and players everywhere) and a weird, malfunctioning vibrola system (sideways vibrola), this type of guitar looks killer.
I am a fan of vibrolas in general, and especially on SGs (not on LPs). I just love the look and tone of them.
Everything on this guitar is original: unmolested pickups, circuit and its components and all of the hardware.
Action is also great and so is the neck (you can see/hear this guitar here).
Besides the fact that I liked the 1961 look, I also had noticed that Angus did have an identical model back around 1981.
I also believe that he still owns it and plays it and possibly, the guitar is now being his number one live gig guitar, with a black (re)finish.
So in short, chances are that Angus’ favorite SG for live gigs is a (modified) 1961 SG Standard.
(Note: it might actually be a mid-60s SG Standard).
A few more pictures of this guitar.
Visible on the above image are the characteristic early to mid ’60s tone and volume knobs, small pickguard, sideways vibrola system and the peculiar body contour of a 1961 Gibson SG (it did change quite a lot in the following years).
Also of interest, the rather deep wood carvings on the cutaways, both of them, a good looking feature in my opinion, to be constantly reduced being made shallower and shallower (unknown reasons other than, keeping labor cost down) in later years.
Also, these have a specific neck joint – rather fragile as well – that changed shape around 1963:
A detail of the back and front of the headstock is visible in the two pictures below.
Recognizable are the classic Gibson logo on the front and the “Les Paul” marking (to be discontinued in around 1962, when Les Paul himself asked that his name be taken out this model that apparently, he hated).
On the back of headstock image, the absence of the later to be added “infamous” volute (a bump at the base of the headstock to prevent breakage) and – in fact – an almost invisible sign of the cracking that has happened on this one. Also note the difference in color, a typical sign to look at when trying to determine if the guitar has had damage. Also visible clearly, the original Kluson “double ring” tuners.
Note of the author for the more ‘particular’ reader: these articles on SoloDallas’ gear are not intended to be egotistical, neither am I intending to show off. They are for passion, documentation/information and sharing pleasure with those who have a similar interest. Thanks for your trust and understanding, SD