Gibson has unveiled a new signature model, the Frank Zappa® "Roxy" SG. The heavily-modded Gibson SG is a replica of the guitar that Zappa used for live performances at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, performances that were made famous after the Roxy & Elsewhere album and DVD release.
The Zappa SG features a slim '60s-style neck, a pair of uncovered humbuckers and a Maestro-style vibrola.
Frank’s son, Dweezil Zappa, has been talking about how the guitar came about with Gibson’s help.
“At one point it was damaged by an airline,” Dweezil explains. “Frank covered the front with a mirrored pickguard across the whole guitar. He added electronics later. But we pulled some stuff off and got to see what the guitar was originally like.”
In the video below, Dweezil explains his father’s extra switching additions to the iconic SG – single-coil sounds, but hum-cancelling. “It has an amazing out-of-phase sound that Frank used a lot – a real signature lead sound he had. I’m excited. It’s so easy to access that tone while you’re playing.”
Zappa’s original SG Special was an early ’60s model with a fast, slim neck profile and the smaller pickguard characteristic of the era, which would have been made with P-90 pickups originally. While it reflects the heavily modified state of FZ’s guitar, the Frank Zappa “Roxy” SG still functions perfectly as a straight-up vintage-reissue SG when desired.
But just flip either of the two mini-toggle switches to split the uncovered humbuckers’ coils, or to throw the pickups out of phase, and you leap into funky Zappa-certified tones—all aided by the highly functional Maestro-style vibrola with Lyre tailpiece.
Watch Dweezil Zappa explain the model and play it, too.
Full details on the Frank Zappa® "Roxy" SG.