The Rad SGs of The Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin

In addition to her ear for hooky riffs, The Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin has an eye for a killer SG. From the group's early music videos of the 1980s through their reunion in the '90s to the present day, Wiedlin's SG collection has been put to work.

"I have a long-standing love affair with the SG, and to me, it's the perfect guitar," Wiedlin says in a 2011 video with Gibson. "I kind of have no interest in playing anything else."

As she says, "There's a really long list of why they're the best guitar. First of all, the neck is nice and narrow and perfect for someone with small hands. The finish that they put on the neck is really slide-y and yummy, so you don't ever feel like you're [fighting the neck]. The weight of it—it's light but not so light that it affects the sound." She continues to say that the body's construction is substantial and resonant, even while being easy to hold.

"But the biggest thing that I love about SGs and that is pretty unusual in the guitar world are the beveled edges, 'cause why would you want to have to put your arm on something that's square and pointy and that digs into your arm? So this [touching the bevel] is really built for the human body."

Wiedlin's collection appears to have started with a 1964 SG Junior and now includes batwing-pickguard Standards, Customs, and some particularly cool sparkle-finished Juniors she's played throughout the 2000s.

You can see and hear the models in action in our roundup of videos below.

1964 SG Junior

An early favorite of Wiedlin's, you can see her red 1964 SG Junior briefly in the music video for "Our Lips Are Sealed" and in many other videos from this era.

These kinds of Juniors were made between 1961 and 1965, with some of the earliest being released as Les Paul Juniors, before Les' well-documented disdain for the SG body shape led to his name being removed. While Wiedlin's has a stopbar tailpiece, Gibson also built these Juniors with factory vibrola vibrato arms.

Wiedlin often had the SG Junior on stage with her, like for the Totally Go-Go's Live '81 concerts and even through the band's 1994 performance on David Letterman's Late Show.

Darth Vader

Alongside her fascination with SGs, Wiedlin also has a fascination with Star Wars. So why not combine them?

One of her go-to touring guitars of the last many decades has been Darth Vader, a red sparkle SG Junior—which you can see her play in The Go-Go's 2001 Central Park concert and on many other stages. "I strictly use Gibson SGs and have been touring with the same two guitars for decades. They’re such great workhorses that stay in tune and just sound great," she told Guitar World in 2016.

In addition to the sparkle finish, this SG sports a variety of Star Wars stickers, including Yoda wielding a light saber. True story: in 2010, a planned Go-Go's tour had to be postponed after Wiedlin fell off a cliff while having a midnight light saber battle with some friends. One repaired ACL and several months of recovery later, and the tour was rescheduled.

Tinky Winky

The second of her two go-to touring guitars is another sparkle-finish SG Junior, a silver 1990 reissue Wiedlin affectionately calls Tinky Winky.

In 2017, she told She Shreds that it's her "Desert Island" guitar, the one she couldn't live without." She also called out Tinky Winky and Darth Vader both in a 2021 Instagram post, writing, "When you find the one(s) you love, stick with ‘em!"

SG Custom

While Wiedlin is best-known for The Go-Go's, she has branched out far and wide from the band's early punk and chart-topping pop music. Back in 2011, she played with the Les Paul Trio.

At the gig, she played a Green SG Custom (not unlike the new Inverness Green Kirk Douglas signature model). You can see this guitar in a video interview with Gibson, where she chats about the Les Paul Trio gig, The Go-Go's, and her love for SGs.

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