Monday, September 3, 2012

Angus Young's 1968 Gibson SG

The Guitarist

Angus McKinnon Young was born in Glasgow, Scotland in March 31, 1955. He is the Australian lead guitarist, songwriter, and co-founder of hard rock band AC/DC. He is currently residing in Sydney, Australia and also has a home in Aalten, Netherlands.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with other members of AC/DC in 2003 and is well-known for his outrageous performances, schoolboy-uniform (from his secondary school, Ashfield Boys High School) stage outfits, a variation of Chuck Berry's duck walk and his spasm-like contortions while playing lead guitar lying on the floor.

His playing style is reflective of his blues background, reminiscent of his influences such as Chuck Berry, Freddie King and Jimi Hendrix. Although Angus is typically the main visual focus during live performances aside from vocalist Brian Johnson, he usually credits his brother Malcolm as being a more superior guitar player than he is.

He was listed 24th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time. Most recently in May 2012, Angus was named Best Australian Guitarist Of All Time by a poll conducted by Australian Guitar Magazine.

The Guitar

The Gibson SG (which stood for "Solid Guitar") Standard electric guitar has always been associated with Young, who almost exclusively uses the Gibson SG over the years.

There are speculations that Angus' early guitar was actually a 1970 model SG due to certain details in the construction of the body and neck when viewing early pictures of Angus with his SG. However, in an interview with Steven Rosen, Angus stated that the first Gibson SG he owned was bought second-hand, possibly a 1967. He played the guitar until the neck got ruined and warped.

The diminutive guitarist's favorite, though, was a 1968 SG Standard, mostly because of its lightweight body which comes in handy during his frenetic stage antics. It was unusual because it apparently had an extra slim and narrow neck than standard issue SGs. The reason for this anomaly was because this SG was actually a factory reject.

Gibson eventually produced the Angus Young Signature model which used the guitarist's favorite 1968 SG as basis. The signature SG's bridge pickup (The Angus Young Signature Humbuckers) was designed in collaboration with specifications from the legendary guitarist while the neck pickup is a '57 Classic Humbucker. The fretboard features the AC/DC signature "lightning bolt" inlays. The guitar also possesses the extra slim, narrow neck that Young prefers.

The video below, a 1977 footage of the band playing "Let There Be Rock", captures the intensity and energy of a live performance by the classic AC/DC lineup (with the late, great Bon Scott). Don't miss Angus' scorching guitar solo at the end of the song!

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