The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger has asked for the guitar community’s help in tracking down a very special stolen guitar: his prized early-’60s red Gibson SG Special.
The electric guitar was used throughout his early years with the Doors, before it was stolen from the band’s rehearsal space around 1967. Now speaking to Guitar World, Krieger has repeated his call for assistance in finding the instrument.
“I was lucky enough to find another like it,” Krieger tells GW. “[But] I’m still looking for my original SG... If anyone out there knows anything about that, please call me. Seriously!”
As such, the Doors man is asking any owners of ’63/’64 Gibson SG Specials to check the back of their headstocks for the serial number 88779. Anyone with potential leads can reach out on FindRobbysGuitar@gmail.com.
While Krieger has been more fortunate in holding on to the replacement SG – a 1967 model, also in red, that he picked up after it went missing – he still holds out hope of one day buying back the original.
The guitarist’s call-out reprises an appeal first made in 2021, when Krieger posted a video describing the guitar’s distinguishing features and history – and incorrectly listed the serial number as 952727.
“It was a red Gibson SG Special, it had the P-90 pickups, the black ones and I bought it from the Ace Loans pawn shop in Santa Monica,” Krieger said in the clip.
“This was the guitar I auditioned for the Doors with. It was also the guitar I wrote Light My Fire, with it, I played it at the Whiskey [A-Go-Go], at the London Fog, I played it on The Ed Sullivan Show and used it on the first two Doors albums. Then one day, it’s gone – somebody stole it out of our rehearsal place.”
The guitarist reportedly put it out of his mind until he came to work on his biography Set the Night on Fire when, as part of the research, a Doors fan supplied him with the manifest from an old tour.
The document listed a serial number for the SG Special, which Krieger had not kept on record. That detail has since proven to be incorrect and Krieger has now learned the actual number is 88779.
As he explains in his new GW interview, Krieger’s relationship with the SG actually dates back to a show in which the young guitarist, then a classical player, saw Chuck Berry perform at the Santa Monica Civic Center – on an ES-335.
“He played this beautiful cherry red Gibson ES-335,” recalls Krieger. “Next day I decided to trade in one of my flamenco guitars for an ES-335. But as it turned out, the ES-335 was too expensive, and the only guitar I could afford was a Gibson SG.”
Krieger was first attracted to its horned design and upper-fret access but says the full-throated (but not abrasive) rock tone would go on to form an essential component in The Doors’ sound.
“It’s always about how you play rather than what you play,” reflects Krieger.
“But I think the SG had a smoother sound compared to the Fender guitars of the day. The Fender stuff was twangier, and I never was a fan of that. I always have gone for smoother sounds, which I could get with the Gibson.”
Keep a look out for our full Robby Krieger interview, in which the guitarist discusses his days with The Doors, studio accidents and how, over time, he’s taking a big step away from his signature fingerstyle.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for Krieger’s SG and perhaps with your help, the two of them will one day be reunited…
While Krieger’s loss has no doubt been keenly felt over the decades, spare a thought, too, for Guitar House of Tulsa, which needs help in tracking down $80,000 worth of stolen vintage guitars.