Angus Young’s 1970 Gibson SG Custom

This guitar was first used by Angus sometime during the 1980 Back in Black tour. According to his current guitar tech, Trace Foster, originally, the SG was finished in walnut color, featured three pickups, and styled a tremolo piece. [Rig Rundown – AC/DC’s Angus Young & Stevie Young]

Sometime between 1980 and 2016, the guitar completely changed its appearance. Angus removed the middle pickup and the tremolo piece and painted the guitar black. At which point this happened is unfortunately not so clear.

The Other Black SG Custom

Now, at this point, it is important to mention that there was another black Gibson SG Custom around that time, which looked suspiciously similar to this guitar. That guitar basically looked exactly the same as this guitar looked in the 2016 Premier Guitar interview. This obviously leads to some confusion that they might be the same guitar.

Trace Foster with Angus Young’s 1970 SG Custom. Source: Rig Rundown – AC/DC’s Angus Young & Stevie Young

To try and debunk this, one has to search for the photos of the other black SG Custom (for instance, search from photos from the Hammersmith Odeon gig from 1979). Since many of them date to 1979, and this particular Custom was seen in its original state in 1980 (walnut finish, three pickups) that seems impossible.

It’s important to note here that the only known photo of this guitar (the one that is the subject of this page) in its original state was taken by Ross Halfin, who claims the photo was taken also at Hammersmith Odeon, but in 1980.

So, unless some of these photos are seriously misdated, we have two completely different SG Customs here. Interestingly, somehow they both ended up looking almost exactly the same, so as always, take everything written here with a grain of salt. That’s a weird coincidence, and we might discover something at a later point that would completely change our conclusion here.

Repaired by Jaydee?

According to John Diggins, the very first guitar that he fixed for Angus was a walnut SG with a large aged cream (white) pickguard. The only guitar that somewhat fits this description is this SG, if we consider that it originally had a walnut finish.

One of the road crew from ac/dc turned up with one of Angus Young’s Gibson SG’s. […] The main problem it had was a broken truss rod. […] I rebuilt the inside of the neck with new timber (mahogany) and the final repair was as good as new. That guitar was a Walnut color with an aged cream double sided pickguard.

The Angus Young Connection – Jaydee

However, since John doesn’t refer to the guitar as a Custom, it doesn’t seem all that likely that he’s talking about this guitar. So, perhaps there was another SG with a white pickguard that we are not aware of at this point.


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Mick Briar
Mick Briar
2 years ago

The Ross Halfin photo above is featured on Ross’ website but titled ‘Angus Young Madison Square Gardens’ (1980 Back In Black tour)

2 years ago

OMG I would love to chat with that guy

3 years ago

Angus had, same black Sg without middle pickup back in 79’s already and played in Paris show live, used it after song whole lotta rose till the end of the gig

3 years ago

Gotta LOVE that guitar!! \m/

Last edited 3 years ago by Randyvanbag