It Might Get Weird: Gigs Carved Guitars' Dark Side of the Moon

Probably 99 percent of the guitars built with graphics inspired by Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon feature the album cover’s iconic prism design.

Mark “Gig” Goldstein’s Dark Side of the Moon guitar also includes the prism, but it is just one small detail in a larger tableau that he carved into the front of a Gibson SG—a scene that tells the album’s entire story.

Here the prism is incorporated into the pyramid seen on the back of the U.S. dollar bill (a nod to the album track “Money”), surrounded by various images that depict a solar eclipse (“Eclipse”), a rabbit running while holding a shovel (“Breathe”) and many other details, including the grave marker of Floyd founder Syd Barrett.

“The idea for the guitar originated with a Pink Floyd fan who lives in Alberta, Canada,” Goldstein says. “He wanted a design based on the album’s lyrics. I was actually quite nervous about doing this, because I had always done carvings based on existing visual themes and not subjective ideas.

"The most challenging part for me was taking the lyrics and turning them into tangible visual representations of their written forms. My representations were generally literal but still abstract enough to allow the viewer to interpret them in their own way. ”

Goldstein started carving wood about 15 years ago when his first attempt at chainsaw carving was a success. From there he moved to smaller, more detailed objects, and soon he started selling wooden fish figures. When a guitarist friend dropped by one day to view his work and asked if Goldstein would carve one of his electric guitars, a whole new world opened up to him. Since then he’s carved more than 20 guitars for customers in the U.S. and Canada.

“I always start my design by placing two or three main subjects in the large, open areas of the guitar’s body. From there, I keep add- ing smaller subjects as I move along. I never have the entire design worked out before I start. I begin with a basic vision and let the rest come together.

"The owner of this guitar gave me free reign on the entire project, which normally makes the end result turn out better. I feel this is one of my most interesting guitars.”

For more information, visit Gigs Carved Guitars on Facebook.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.