I was first introduced to Tony back in 1970 when working with John Birch, who was a pioneer of custom made pick-ups, making them in such a way that they were mechanically noiseless.
In those days Tony used a beautiful Gibson cherry red SG special that had been fitted with some of John’s early pick-ups in the stainless steel covers. It was this guitar that I used as the blueprint for the contours on our own SG. In the following years Tony and I became good friends as I was able to solve some of the niggling intonation problems that he had suffered for many years. He also had some of the early prototype John Birch guitars, such as a 24 fret Les Paul shape (pictured) and the first 24 fret black SG with crucifix inlays and stainless steel scratchplate, which he used up until about 1980.
I couldn’t make the guitar in John Birches time so I made it at home. It was made on the kitchen table and was completed in about 2 weeks. The lacquer was still soft when it was taken to the US, and it was this factor combined with severe changes in temperature and humidity that caused the paint to crack and flake off, giving the ‘Old Boy’ the well worn look that it has today. The guitar was not given a proper unveiling until I had produced the pick-ups that could deliver the sound that Tony was happy with. The Jaydee ‘Old Boy’ SG has become one of Tony’s favourites and it is still used today.
In 1975 I was asked if I would tour the east coast of the States with Black Sabbath as a guitar tech for Tony. I was reluctant at the time but I gave in eventually through Tony’s persistence. It was then that I thought it would be
a good idea to make Tony another guitar to take to the States as a spare, and also to experiment with pick-ups.