Reader Guitar of the Month: The Fool

A Cream fan in Belgium pays tribute to Clapton with a psychedelic SG.

Name: Alain Pire

Hometown: Marchin, Belgium
Guitar: Cream Gibson SG

I’ve always been a fan of Cream, and so I asked a friend who is a painter to paint my Gibson SG in the fashion of Eric Clapton’s model. It was produced in Nashville in January 2006. I decided to form my psychedelic band, the Alain Pire Experience, in loving memory of Cream, because it was such an incredible power trio at the time. I was really impressed by them when I was a teenager. Then I did a PhD about psychedelic music at the University of Liège, Belgium, and I really wanted to form a 3-piece band to pay tribute to that type of music.

I have quite a lot of guitars (see below) but this one is special. It’s equipped with P-90 pickups, which I love because of the fatter sound they give. It’s the model that Clapton used for quite a while with Cream, except that he was using an SG Standard with humbuckers.

This guitar was dark red first. I sent my painter friend (who is also a fan of 1960s British psych-rock music) a picture of Clapton’s legendary SG that was painted by an artist duo called “The Fool.” I asked him to paint mine as a tribute but in his own fashion, and to my delight, he did it! Ever since, it’s been my favorite guitar both for recording and to play live. The neck is very easy and its weight is very light, making it a very comfortable instrument to play. It’s getting plenty of action, too, as we have released two albums now and have a lot of airplay here in Belgium.

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