Tony Iommi Guitar Story : Gibson SG

tony iommi guitar

Tony Iommi Gibson SG Guitar


“I bought my Gibson SG guitar in a music store in Brimingham, England, back in 1967,” says Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath. “I was told it was a ’64, but I’ve never verified that. Originally it was a Fender Stratocaster. While I was recording the first track on our first album, the Strat’s pickups blew. I couldn’t find anyone who knew how to repair it. and we didnt have replacement parts in those days, so I just trashed it and started using the SG. It sounded good, so I never looked back. It was my primary guitar on Black Sabbath, Paranoid, and Master of Reality.”

Iommy did little to alter the SG during the years he recorded those albums. Later, however, he customized the Gibson with the aid of guitar maker John Birch. “I replaced the bridge pickup with a handwound John Birch humbucker,” he explains. “Birch was a craftsman who designed and modified guitars for me when companies refused to meet my demands. Besides winding custom pickups for guitar when others said it was impossible.”

tony iommi

Tony Iommi On Stage

The cherry colored, fire breathing ax has spent its golden years in the mustachioed metal masters closet, though Iommi does pull it out from time to time. “I still use it in the studio occasionally,” he says. “My biggest problem with the instrument is that it has a very weak neck. It actually goes out of tune as much as a half step if you apply too much pressure on it.”