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Fretwork Friday: Colin Cripps' 1964 Gibson SG!

Hey Blue Rodeo Fans,

How fortuitous that our second Fretwork Friday falls on the festive occasion of Blue Rodeo resident gunslinger (that's guitar nerd talk for fantastic guitar player) Colin Cripps' birthday! Happy Birthday Colin from me, True Rodeo, and your countless fans in Canada and around the world.

1964 Gibson SG

Today's Fretwork Friday will showcase one of Colin's favourites, his 1964 Gibson SG.

Colin was very gracious just this past week when I asked him for a little run down on one of this main guitars with Blue Rodeo, his 1964 Gibson SG. He took the time to put together not only the story behind how he acquired it, but a long list of songs that it's featured on over the years. We'll look at a few of those today, some well known, and some hidden gems. Here's a picture from Colin's Instagram page, taken by Sean Sisk...

From Colin's Instagram page...

"1964 Gibson SG Std...

Winding out with Blue Rodeo at Ottawa Bluesfest, July 12th, 2018.. 📸 Sean Sisk  #gibsonsg #bluerodeo #ottawabluesfest #seansiskphotography #ccripps" 

Blue Rodeo, August 4th,2018 in Port Colborne, ON...1964 Gibson SG Std..

You can’t see them in this pic, but there was the most intense bug infestation we’ve ever experienced going on while we played.. 📸 by Dayna Hawerchuck

A Bit About The Gibson SG

From Wikipedia: (Hey, I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here!)

The Gibson SG, SG standing for "Solid Guitar," was first produced in 1961 after the great success of the Gibson Les Paul which began production in 1952. The SG design was given a thinner, more contoured body than the Les Paul, and a double cutaway. Not only did this make the upper frets more accessible, it was further eased by moving the neck joint outwards by three frets. The simpler body construction significantly reduced production costs, and the SG, with its slender neck profile and small heel where it joined the body, was advertised as having the "fastest neck in the world".

The SG generally has a solid mahogany body, with a black pickguard. The 24.75" scale mahogany neck joins the body at the 19th or 22nd fret. Early models had a smaller neck joint with a longer tenon. This neck design provided access above the 16th fret. Epiphone-made bolt-on neck models still use a 16th fret neck joint. The SG's set neck is shallower than the Gibson Les Paul's. The SG features the traditional Gibson combination of two or three humbucker pickups or P90 pickups and a Tune-o-matic bridge assembly, wraparound bridge, or vibrato tailpiece, depending on the model.

The SG Standard features pearloid trapezoid fretboard inlays, as well as fretboard binding and inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo and crown; the mid-level SG Special features pearloid dot inlays and an inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo, without a crown. The Standard has a volume and a tone control for each individual pickup, and a three-way switch that allows the player to select either the bridge pickup, the neck pickup, or both together.

Colin's SG's Backstory

Colin: My main SG is a 1964 Gibson SG Standard I got through a trade in 1998. It came through a friend who had acquired it and I traded a 1955 Gibson Les Paul Special I had ( that I used in Crash Vegas including for the video “Sky”).

So the Les Paul Special in the video was out and the SG was in.

Many of us have heard Colin playing the SG live and on Blue Rodeo tracks like Never Like This Before, Never Too Late, Superstar, Rabbit's Foot, and New Morning Sun.

Never Too Late


New Morning Sun begins at time index 3:01...

Never Like This Before

Colin and the SG's Many Musical Meanerings

Colin: The SG has been on countless recordings over the past 25 years including, Bryan Adams “ Thought I’d Found Everything”, “Flower Grown Wild”

Colin: Kathleen Edwards' “Copied Keys”, “Buffalo”, “Independent Thief”

Colin: Sarah McLachlan “In the Bleak Midwinter” “Awakenings”

Colin: Jim Cuddy Band “Constellations” “Will I Be Waiting” “What Is So Wrong?” and “All In Time”

So that's brief look at Colin's 1964 Gibson SG Standard. I hope you kicked back and viewed not only the featured videos but the linked videos to get a sense of the versatility of the 1964 SG Standard and of Colin's playing. And I'm not the only one who thinks so...(click on the link, please. It's a clip so I can't imbed the video)

A Very Special Thank You

A very special thank you to Colin Cripps for providing the background and track list on his 1964 Gibson SG Standard with Meastro Vibrola tailpiece, and for the many pics and information I "borrowed" from your Instagram page and that made today's special Colin Cripps birthday edition of Fretwork Friday possible! I owe you a beer, Colin!

-Dave Brinton, True Rodeo

Sources: Mr. Colin Cripps,, Youtube, Wikipedia., and other sources as linked.

One From the "The Things We Do For Music" File...

Made a new fan tonight…

Nothing like playing to a dancing snowman with a candy cane saxophone.

Thanks for documenting this@braddalgarno@lesleydalgarno

A career highlight…🙋‍♂️💥🎸

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