Restoring Nick Perri's Silvertide Gibson SG
An epic guitar repair 17 years in the making
Once upon a time, in a sweaty Philadelphia bar far far away...
The year was 2001 and my band Virtigo (improper spelling on purpose) whose name was about to change to Silvertide, had a weekly residency at a bar on South Street called
At and around this time my axe of choice was the Gibson SG. I had yet to even play a Les Paul. Keep in mind, I'm 16 years old. I had one main guitar - a 1998 Heritage Cherry Gibson SG, if my memory serves me correctly - and gigging 4-5 nights a week now, I needed a #2. I honestly don't remember where I purchased the black SG but I do know it was a 1995 model and it was killer. I started using it right away and used it for the duration of the band's residency.
Not too long after this things started to heat up for Silvertide and we were garnering label attention and signing a deal was imminent. I can't remember if we had signed yet or not, but a showcase show was booked in NYC at the legendary "Don Hills". We had some of the best nights there, and the one in spotlight was no different. I remember our manager Brad Rubens sat us down prior to the show and told us we "needed to make an impression".. not only because our label (or soon-to-be label) people were there, but also a very well respected publicist, with whom we also wanted to do business .
We took the stage and it was electric. I don't remember too many other details from the night except that during the guitar solo part of the show I jumped off the stage and onto the floor and after playing for some time SMASHED my beloved Gibson SG. Let's just call it heat of the moment. I won't go too much deeper, but I will say it never sat right with me and it was the last time I ever broke a guitar on-stage, on purpose. That said, an impression we did make, and we signed with the publicist, and label, and the rest is history.
I can’t say for certain how many, but I know many of Silvertide’s original songs were written on this guitar. I know for sure an outtake called “Dragonfly” and I believe “Mary Jayne” and “To See Where I Hide” as well. Probably dozens more.
Fast forward 16 years..
I go into the basement of my parents house and behold, I find the SG in a dusty case under the stairs. It's devastated. Not only broken, but I guess at some point I had also stripped her for parts. I knew right away myself and a friend or two could make her sing once more, and so what you are about to see visually represents the various stages of repair that have been underway for the last year.
A hefty thank you to my great friend Rob Mondell (Mondell Custom Guitars) for repairing the broken headstock, which was a crucial part of the repair, and one I didn't feel comfortable doing myself. Rob took her into his NJ shop and performed true voodoo. Thank you brother. The rest was done by myself back home in CA. I purposely didn't erase all her battle wounds. I didn't want a brand new looking guitar. This amazing instrument has a story to tell, so even in the final stages of repair I decided leave some scars visible. Overall, it was a rewarding journey that I won't soon forget.
"Abilene" now has a 2nd chance at life in the studio and on-stage..
Aside from the original wood which is all repaired and in-tact, the guitar has been upgraded with brand new Grover vintage-style tuners, Bare Knuckle “Mule” PAF pickups, new CTS pots and RS Guitarworks caps, new wiring and output jack, freshly polished frets, and a pro setup. She sounds A-MAZING and is rich with mid-range creamy sustain.
AND I STILL HAVE THE ORIGINAL STRINGS FROM THE LAST SILVERTIDE SHOW IT WAS PLAYED!
Some other cool things to note: On the original truss rod cover is a sticker that says "DUKE" as back in the day (don't ask me why) I gave myself the nickname of "The Duke". I was a weird kid.
Also the "Origivation Magazine" sticker on the back of the guitar is still there. Origivation was a local Philly music mag that featured Silvertide quite a bit. Support local original music!!
Below you will find the full photo gallery, and also a short video of me demoing the guitar.
And there you have it, folks ;-)