Why Les Paul didn’t like the Gibson SG

Les Paul and a Gibson SG
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images / Future)

It’s a well-known piece of guitar history that, after the Les Paul electric guitar emerged as a powerhouse in modern music in the late 1950s, the first-ever SG models soon followed suit, and were initially released by Gibson in 1961 with the Les Paul name attached.

However, much to his relief, Paul’s name was promptly removed from the headstocks of the new instruments – after his endorsement contract expired in 1962 – with his own animosity for the two-horned, radical-looking axe becoming a well-known piece of Gibson lore.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.