The journey to establish what exactly this guitar was has been a real education. Upon opening the case, I was stunned by the attractiveness of this SG. I’m used to seeing the variations of basically red SG’s and Pelham Blue was a true surprise.
Research revealed a scarcity of Pelham Blue SG’s over the years. I zeroed in on the chrome covered pickups and totally missed the obvious signals of dot fretboard markers and unbound neck, and incorrectly put it as an SG Standard of some sort (I’m still learning Gibsons). Inside the case were the inspection card and filled out warranty card, which I somehow saw and then immediately forgot. I found a run of Pelham Blue SG Standard “Exclusive”s marketed and sold by Sam Ash in 2011 and jumped at the assumption that this was one, as the warranty card listed Sam Ash as the purchase point. As I said, I’m still learning Gibsons.
Some very nice fellows gently corrected my assumptions by showing me the details I overlooked in my rush to identify this instrument. First, the neck so obviously shows it as an SG Special that I felt truly foolish to have ever thought otherwise. Apparently someone had added chrome pickup covers or new pickups. The rhythm pickup was found to be dead, so in to the local Gibson Certified repair guy it went. He replaced the rhythm pickup which he assumed was stock with the identical item. He made no mention of a refinish and stated that the wiring was restored what he believed were stock specifications.
Gibson customer support (bless their souls) provided that according to their records, it started life as a 2001 SG Special in Platinum. So obviously someone has refinished it, albeit very well, in Pelham Blue and added chrome covers to the pickups.
Although it is obviously not stock, it is truly a stunning and desirable SG Special in a very attractive Pelham Blue. I’ve never been a huge fan of SG’s being more of a Tele guy, but this one is changing my mind. The lightness and playability make this a Gibson that Fender folks could get behind, and would serve as an easy entry into the world of high quality Gibson electrics.