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Yamaha SG1000

In the early 80s, I was a guitarist who was very much a product of the 70s Rock decade. I’d learned songs by guitar greats such as Steve Howe, David Gilmour, Steve Hillage, Tony Iommi, Steve Hackett, Robert Fripp, Mike Oldfield, Dave Brock and the rest. But, this was all becoming a bit comfortable and safe.

I became aware of a new breed of guitarists who were less like stars, but were bringing a whole new range of sounds to the party. These new guys included Robert Smith, The Edge, Will Sergeant, Bernard Albrecht, Hugh Cornwell and John McGeoch.

Yamaha SG1000

I found myself writing heavily effected angular warbly guitar parts. This was probably due in no small part to my obsession with a string of albums by Siouxsie and The Banshees. So, I guess it was inevitable that I would one day acquire a Yamaha SG1000, McGeoch’s weapon of choice in Magazine and The Banshees.

It’s not really a guitar hero’s guitar. It’s nicknamed the Les Paul Killer after all. It’s not very sexy, it’s not a classic guitar, and it’s not that common. In fact, in all my years, I’d not actually seen one in a shop until recently. But, there it was, in Johnny Roadhouse in Manchester, this summer.

I had to give it a spin. The first thing I noticed was its weight. It was heavier than all my guitars. But it is crafted beautifully. Solid resonant mahogany, faultless build, with an exquisite glued in slim C neck and 10″ radiused ebony fretboard, gold hardware, a belly cut, front neck and body binding, and fancy inlay. It oozed quality, with a matching price tag. But, when I realised that its pickups worked as humbuckers and single coils, I bought it.

Since leaving Crimson Creatures, I decided to make it my current workhorse. It’s a real Swiss Army Knife of a guitar. Expect to hear it on my next project.

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