Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2,  circa late 1967,
Lot 186
Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2,
circa late 1967,
Sold for £37,500 (US$ 58,680) inc. premium

Lot Details
Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2,  circa late 1967, Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2,  circa late 1967, Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2,  circa late 1967, Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2,  circa late 1967, Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2,  circa late 1967,
Pete Townshend / The Who: A cherry red Gibson SG Special guitar, serial number 884484 stamped 2,
circa late 1967,
owned and used by Pete Townshend in the early 1970s - early 1980s; the double cutaway body in cherry red finish, mahogany neck, Grover machine heads, 22 fret bound fingerboard with dot inlays, two P90 pickups, four rotary controls, selector switch, metal bridge, black pickguard bound in white, tailpiece removed; original Gibson contour hardshell case with scarlet plush lining; accompanied by a letter signed by Townshend detailing the provenance,

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Ex lot 124 Popular Culture: Rock & Pop Memorabilia Christie's, South Kensington, 10 July, 2008

    Pete Townshend has regularly stated that the Gibson SG was his guitar of preference, and this model was his main stage guitar until the early 1970s when the model specifications changed. The SG became synonymous with Pete from the late 1960's until 1973, whilst touring with The Who, the majority of his SG's he smashed to smithereens on stage during his infamous performances. It was this same model of guitar that he played on the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus and at the Isle of Wight Festival as shown in illustrated images in the catalogue where Townshend is clearly seen playing an identical guitar. The SG was also used on the bands first live album The Who, Live At Leeds released in May 1970.

    Townshend would always modify his Gibson SG guitars, removing the tailpiece and tremolo arm leaving visible screwholes, as seen on the guitar in this lot. In the accompanying letter from Townshend he writes about this guitar ...it must be one of the few passing through my hands, which has survived without getting smashed.... The instrument was originally gifted to Tony Haslam, former crew member for The Who, in the 1980s. The letter from Pete recalls I used it at home as my principle guitar of this type for use on my demo recordings...as one of my 'special' guitars.... Townshend gave Haslam such a prized piece in thanks for his support and friendship during the early 1980s.

    Literature:
    www.thewho.org
    www.whotabs.com
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