COOL GUITAR ALERT! Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 Gibson SG Custom
Though it’s been nearly forty seven years since his tragic death at age 27, the power of Jimi Hendrix’s music resonates as strongly today as ever.
Unquestionably the greatest, most influential electric guitarist in history; Jimi’s blend of blues, rock and soul styles formed the lexicon of modern guitar playing. Anyone who picks up the instrument today is to some degree standing in Hendrix’s shadow. When he played the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 (his first U.S. gig), a who’s-who of rock royalty stood slackjawed as they watched the boundaries of popular music being smashed and burned by this psychedelic gypsy messiah. Nothing was ever the same again.
Every Hendrix-owned guitar we have is special, but this one is spectacular.
It’s a ’67 Gibson SG that Jimi used a number of times in concert and appeared with on The Dick Cavett Show in September of 1969. Hendrix played subdued, yet brilliant, versions of “Izabella” and “Machine Gun” on the program, which aired just a few weeks after the Woodstock festival. Here’s a short clip of Jimi rocking this guitar on Cavett.
Though Jimi is forever associated with the Fender Stratocaster, he actually owned and played quite a few Gibsons throughout his career. The SG was a natural fit for Hendrix since its symmetrical cutaways allowed him to flip the right-handed guitar over for lefty playing – exactly as he did with Strats. This is much more problematic on a singe-cutaway Gibson like a Les Paul (though Jimi did that too).
The metal parts on this instrument were all gold-plated, but faded over the guitar’s 50-year life to reveal the nickel underneath the electroplate. This is a very common sign of age on vintage guitars and is part of the reason gold-plated hardware has never been as popular with players as nickel or chrome.
This guitar is one of those rare pieces of memorabilia that still seems to resonate with the soul of the artist and is unquestionably one of the most incredible instruments in Hard Rock’s vast collection.