For the guitar-playing Black Sabbath fan who has everything, Tony Iommi and Gibson Guitars have something new for you to covet. The two icons have united to create the Tony Iommi “Monkey” 1964 SG Special Replica, right down to the monkey decal, which is set to hit guitar stores later on this year.
“It’s an exact, exact replica of my first Gibson, the red one, which I had on the first four albums,” Iommi told Rolling Stone. “I’m really amazed how they’d done it.”
The guitar they're replicating is the one Iommi used on Black Sabbath's first album only out of necessity. A pickup on his beloved Fender Stratocaster failed, so he had no choice but to grab his backup axe.
“Because we were in for only the day to record, I had to use the Gibson,” he says. “I thought, ‘Oh, no. It’s just typical’” Iommi related. “But I had worked on the Gibson a bit, so it felt normal for me to play. So I ended up doing all the rest of the songs from the first album on the Gibson. And that was it. I never looked back. I just stuck with the Gibson then.”
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Iommi is so pleased with the new replica that it's become his go-to guitar at home: “It’s just really great. I’ve got it in my bedroom now. That’s the one I’ve been playing every night. I get up and play for a bit, and I really like it.”
Now for those fans looking to get their hands on this exceptional piece, Gibson plans to make them extremely limited: 25 left-handed versions, and 25 right-handed versions. The guitars will arrive with a replica of Iommi’s famous cross pendant, a coffin case and a replica of Iommi’s leather touring strap. The guitar-maker has yet to announce a suggested retail price for the six-string.
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