Famed guitar manufacturers Gibson have announced a new partnership with the equally revered Black Sabbath guitarist and co-founder Tony Iommi. The company has created the Tony Iommi “Monkey” 1964 SG Special Replica, a limited edition of his beloved 1964 Special SG. The guitar is available worldwide from authorized Gibson dealers.
In a new interview, Iommi talks about his unique guitar modifications and how they created an unforgettable sound on Black Sabbath’s seminal hard rock landmarks. Watch it here:
The Tony Iommi “Monkey” 1964 SG Special Replica is a heavily-modified 1964 SG Special, in the specification that was used extensively in Sabbath’s original line-up. It’s heard on every album and tour the band undertook during the 1970s. Gibson’s meticulous reverse-engineering and painstaking attention to detail has allowed the creation of 50 exact replicas, 25 right-handed and 25 left-handed like the original. Each of the 50 guitars is signed and numbered by Iommi himself.
Gibson has lovingly addressed every element and detail of the guitar’s specification in the creation of the replica models. Thus the story of the guitar, its construction and ageing can be retold, from the zero fret and the stop tailpiece bushings to the pickups, which were hand-made in the UK by the apprentice of the late John Birch.
Silver cross necklace, coffin case
Each of the guitars includes an exclusive replica of Iommi’s silver cross necklace with a coffin case. Also featured is a replica of his leather touring guitar strap and a 1960s replica case, along with a certificate of authenticity.
Iommi’s interview with Gibson TV, for its Icons series, is a deep dive into his early years in Birmingham, England. It covers the accident that almost ended his career as a guitar player and his 55-year musical evolution with Black Sabbath, which established him as one of the greatest guitarists in the history of rock.