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  1. #1

    Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Hello Guys,

    Its a long time since I posted on here but having been commissioned to paint a "Fool" SG for someone. Has anyone else here attempted this and does anyone know where the original guitar resides now?
    Last edited by frazettafan; 08-31-17 at 02:53 PM.
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


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  2. #2

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Not sure where the original one is. Maybe Hard Rock, maybe not. There are literally thousands of photos out there one can use to go by. That's how mine was done back in 1989. Just out of curiosity, are you going to apply the paints with a brush or an airbrush? A manual brush will result in the most authentic look. Mine was done with artist acrylics, with a clear acrylic lacquer applied to preserve the finish. The original was done with oil-based enamels with nothing over the paint, though I believe varnish was added later when Rundgren had it restored. Varnish is the only thing you can apply on oil-based paints. The big problem with that is that it yellows pretty dramatically over time, whereas the acrylic lacquer has not. Best of luck with this.

  3. #3

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Hi there CF,

    I was hoping that you would chime in on this as I know you have a really nice replica of this guitar.

    I heard the original is in a museum in Seattle but I can't seem to locate it. I have a contact who knows Maritke who actually painted the original and I might try to ask her some details if possible, I know she recently painted another one for Guitar Hanger.

    I'm using the body of a '74 SG so it's not totally accurate but I intend to do as faithful a copy as possible for the client, who owns the donor guitar. It's tricky as compromises have to be made to fit the design to the slightly different body configuration.

    I'm brushing the paint on using acrylics over acrylic primer and will finish with the same sealer. I'm a painter by trade and I've used oils exclusively for the last 30 years so switching to acrylics is a little bit of a leap, but it's working and I'll post photos of the entire process soon. I had to draw up templates for front and back and I want to get the expression on the face of the angel close to the original, so it's tricky, but fun! Also when this is finished I'm going to do another one for myself on a '64 spec body if I can find one. I'm looking forward to that as it's something I've always wanted to do because, as I'm sure you know - the "Fool" rules!
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


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  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member bizzwriter's Avatar
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    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Quote Originally Posted by frazettafan View Post
    Hello Guys,

    Its a long time since I posted on here but having been commissioned to paint a "Fool" SG for someone. Has anyone else here attempted this and does anyone know where the original guitar resides now?
    Hope you'll post some pix when it's done!
    Music is the BEST!

  5. #5

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Just be aware that the back of the neck as it exists now is not the original design. When Rundgren replaced the headstock and the first 8 inches of neck, he had an artist paint what is on there now--his or her interpretation. The original back was actually larger swaths of blue, yellow, green and red. Apparently, Clapton didn't like the fact that the paint came off on his hands so he scraped the back of the neck down to the bare mahogany. A big mistake. Guess what happened when he sweated all over that guitar for the 18 months he used it? Dry rot. That's why Rundgren had to replace that part of the neck. In any event, there is one photo out there that was taken during the guitar's first photo shoot in The Fool's studio. It is a double exposure of the SG and Bruce's Bass VI leaning against Ginger Baker's bass drum. It's clear enough to see and paint by, if you can find it. And that is assuming you want to try and make it as close to original as possible, rather than how it looked after restoration.

  6. #6

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Thanks CF, I'll try to find that pic of the neck. I wodered about that aspect of it.

    Heres a shot of the early painting stage on the primed gutar body:

    https://i.imgur.com/mVBOknG.jpg
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


    ...............


    ...............

  7. #7

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Heres how it looked a few days ago, all still a bit rough but I'm trying to get the whole thing working and then rfine it at a later stage:

    https://imgur.com/l5jlHS9

    https://imgur.com/XJa4nrw

    I'll try to post more tomorrow as I go on. One problem is the lack of much of a bevel in the cutaways, you have to cheat the design a little in that area.
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


    ...............


    ...............

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    looks cool man!

    I was looking all around the web to find the original and its hard because there are so many copies

    but I found this and its some really good pics -- I'm sure you have seen it though but if not...

    FWIW IMHO-- seems like you are doing a really good job so far w the design and the colors. better than many of the other one's i've seen!


    http://www.vintageguitar.com/12684/claptons-fool/

    this clip is also super freaking entertaining! very spinal tappy. and its amazing how Clapton sounds like clapton in three notes. and a great discription of the woman tone!

    that finger vibrato thing is really cool too. how he bends up to the note and then does vibrato above and below the note-- rather than just if you do it at the note (which is easier, but is just going sharp to the note, but not both above and below the note (essentially replicating what you can do with a tremelo bar-- I think one reason why David Gilmore is so pleasing to the ear is how much he uses the trem and its going above and below the note)

    not saying anything many people don't know here but I'm learning more about these things

    interesting how he says guitar allows him to get his "angery bits out" I like that!

    Last edited by Pellman73; 09-02-17 at 04:23 AM.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Great looking job so far! Can't wait to see the finished product. Thanks for sharing it!

  10. #10

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Are you also going to paint the pickup rings to match what's underneath them? Also, something I never knew until after mine was finished is that the pickguard was entirely painted. Even the beveled edges. Not sure if Rundgren scraped the edge to clean off everything or not, though I suspect it was flaking there and he may have decided to make it a clean edge all the way around. Don't know why he didn't have the rings repainted.

  11. #11

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Thanks for the kind comments Biz, Pelman and Drzguy. I appreciate it very much.Also for the link to Claptons little lesson there, I never saw it before and it's great!

    Cream fan, thanks for the info re the pickup rings. I had a feeling they were painted as in some contemporary photos with Clapton you can see what looks like paint on the neck pickup ring. I'll see what the client wants me to do regarding that but I think the original brief was to leave them black as he's got the harmonica style bridge on this guitar, so it's kind of based on the time after Clapton owned it. I can't find that photo you mentioned of the reverse of the guitar in the early Cream photo session, but I'd really like to see that. And also the scratch plate had me wondering about that edge? I stupidly went and r moved the primer from that edge but it wouldn't be a problem to re- prime it, again I'll ask the owner of the guitar on that detail. Also, there seems to e some kind of detail on the hair, like some lines describing swirls or something? Does yours have this feature, Creamfan?

    I'll post another shot of it tonight as its advanced a bit over this weekend but it's still needs tightening up, it's all kind of 'knocked-in', especially the figure. In the original the hands are a little vague. I got my wife to model these and have drawn them as I feel they should be. I'll come back and finish these at the final stage.
    Last edited by frazettafan; 09-02-17 at 01:06 PM.
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


    ...............


    ...............

  12. #12

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Heres the current state of play on the Fool SG after three weeks of work. The 'Flames of Hell' have been approximated' the wings rubbed in and the coloured bands of blue and green straightened up a bit:

    https://imgur.com/5EhEfcg

    https://imgur.com/X4hoapv

    Acrylic seems very trasparent so its neccessary to build the colour in glazes, takes time!
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


    ...............


    ...............

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Great Job , your work is spot on ! Thank you for sharing this project with the forum .
    He was a sonic disaster, thinking hours of practice would make up for stock pickups, poorly carved top and The wrong glue !

  14. #14

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    I do not have those details in the hair. I noticed them later and wish they'd been included, but all in all it was a job well done. One other detail, and you can see this even in black and white photos of Clapton with the guitar. The stars clustered around the cherub's feet were outlined in what looks like black, giving them more pop and more of what I call the comic book look. I had my guy do that, but his outlining was too thin. Check out the old photos and you'll see what I mean. That detail was obscured when the guitar was restored.

  15. #15

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Thanks for mentioning those stars,CF - I might have overlooked that detail. Is it possible to see some close ups of your guitar? What reference did your guy use to work from?
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


    ...............


    ...............

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member dez's Avatar
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    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    In 2013 I bought an Epiphone G-400 from some guy in Newark for $100. A friend of mine is an artist and we researched how the Fool was painted and had a bunch of photos and he went to work. A few months later he gave me the completed guitar fro my birthday and it went into gigging rotation. Didnt do anything with with the electronics... it's a stock Epi that looks really cool now... and sounds decent, too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgdcRYdeIxg

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member Pellman73's Avatar
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    Carved Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Quote Originally Posted by dez View Post
    In 2013 I bought an Epiphone G-400 from some guy in Newark for $100. A friend of mine is an artist and we researched how the Fool was painted and had a bunch of photos and he went to work. A few months later he gave me the completed guitar fro my birthday and it went into gigging rotation. Didnt do anything with with the electronics... it's a stock Epi that looks really cool now... and sounds decent, too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgdcRYdeIxg

    Hell yea dude! I enjoyed the helll out of that. You guys rocks entourage are playing the snotnout of that thing

    rock and roll!!

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member dez's Avatar
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    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pellman73 View Post
    Hell yea dude! I enjoyed the helll out of that. You guys rocks entourage are playing the snotnout of that thing

    rock and roll!!
    If I could just bring it out when the singer puts some Cream in the setlist it would be perfect!

  19. #19

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Yup, great stuff, Dez! Sounds really good. Yes, some Cream would really hit it!

    Here's the the current state of the one I'm working on. Just started the little landscape on the pick guard and roughly painted the headstock. The whole front is starting to shape up now but I won't refine it until I've established the back of the guitar:

    https://imgur.com/xi6S5FL

    It's interesting but working on the pick-guard made me realise that the pickups on a '74 model SG are closer together by almost 12mm compared to an early '60's model.
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


    ...............


    ...............

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Quote Originally Posted by frazettafan View Post
    Yup, great stuff, Dez! Sounds really good. Yes, some Cream would really hit it!

    Here's the the current state of the one I'm working on. Just started the little landscape on the pick guard and roughly painted the headstock. The whole front is starting to shape up now but I won't refine it until I've established the back of the guitar:

    https://imgur.com/xi6S5FL

    It's interesting but working on the pick-guard made me realise that the pickups on a '74 model SG are closer together by almost 12mm compared to an early '60's model.
    Frazzy! Good to see you man!!
    That's a suuuuper early '74 as well! Basically a late '73..as they went to the ebony board very early in '74.
    Mid '74, the pickups moved further back, like these:
     photo norlin_logo.jpg

  21. #21

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Ho there Kris, nice to hear from you too, I hope you are well. ThNks for the info, I never realised that. I'm starting the back of the guitar now, I'll post more pics soon.
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


    ...............


    ...............

  22. #22

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    One aspect regarding the headstock that was on the original but not the restored version. The original had a white line outlining the border between the red and blue areas. There are photos, but they tend to be blown out looking. Again, this was something about which I was unaware when I did mine, but would have been nice to include.

  23. #23

    Re: Clapton "Fool" SG project.

    Thanks CF, I never knew about that. I'll do it on this one and the next one that I will do for myself over time. Great to have this info. One thing, when I painted the headstock I noticed that it doesn't fit if you paint a Gibson headstock from the current photo of the guitar. It's too long for what's on there now. I reckon the headstock on that guitar now is not from a Gibson guitar, if you look you can see it's too short. IMHO of course!
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


    ...............


    ...............

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