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THE ARCHIVE: Tony Iommi Jaydee 'Old Boy' Custom Guitar

By John Diggins
“I was first introduced to Tony back in 1970 when working with John Birch, who was a pioneer of custom made pick-ups
making them in such a way that they were mechanically noiseless.

In those days Tony used a beautiful Gibson cherry red SG special that had
been fitted with some of John’s early pick-ups in the stainless steel covers.
It was this guitar that I used as the blueprint for the contours on our own SG.
In the following years Tony and I became good friends as I was able to solve
some of the niggling intonation problems that he had suffered for many years.
He aslo had some of the early prototype John Birch guitars, such as a 24 fret
Les Paul shape (pictured) and the first 24 fret black SG with crucifix inlays
and stainless steel scratchplate, which he used up until about 1980.
I couldn’t make the guitar in John Birches time so I made it at home. It was made on the kitchen table and was completed in about 2 weeks. The lacquer was still soft when it was taken to the US, and it was this factor combined with severe changes in temperature and humidity that caused the paint to crack
and flake off, giving the ‘Old Boy’ the well worn look that it has today. The guitar was not given a proper unveiling until I had produced the pick-ups that could deliver the sound that Tony was happy with.The Jaydee ‘Old Boy’ SG has become one of Tony’s favourites and it is still used today.

464 Votes