Interestingly, the SG was originally intended to be a Les Paul variant but Les was less than taken by the SG's "devil horns" styling and requested that his name not be used on the guitar. Gibson complied and named it the SG which stands for Solid Body. Ironically, the design that Les didn't like is precisely the feature that has made the SG so successful. Not only does it have a "rebel" look, the double cutaways make accessing the upper frets a breeze and contribute greatly to rock lead playing.
The latter part of the '60s were not a good time for Gibson. Ted McCarty had stepped down in 1966 and quality was perceived - rightly or wrongly - to have dropped. In addition, union issues reared their head causing further problems. In 1969 an Ecuadorian brewery, ECL, bought enough of Gibson's parent company's(CMI) stock to control the company. As a result, the two companies merged to form Norlin Industries, Inc. The Norlin name was derived by combining the first syllable of ECL's chairman, Norton Stevens with the last syllable of CMI founder Maurice Berlin's name. In 1975 Gibson opened a new plant in Nashville, Tn. By 1977 the Nashville operation had become Gibson's corporate headquarters(and still is).
The late 70s and early '80s were not a good time for the industry in general due to the recessions of the period. In 1979 Norlin merged Gibson into Norlin Industries and Gibson became just a brand name. In the early '80s vintage instrument sales enjoyed an upsurge and, noticing this, Gibson began creating and releasing vintage re-issues of their more popular instruments. The market was still weak, however, and Norlin decided that it had no further future in the industry. In 1986 Norlin sold their fretted instrument division to three Harvard MBAs - Henry Jusckiewicz, David Berryman and Gary Zebrowski. The three named it Gibson Guitar Corporation and later renamed it to Gibson Musical Instruments. Gibson Guitars was reborn.
Since that time Gibson has thrived, continuing its tradition of innovation and high quality. Today Gibson is going as strongly as ever. Their current line-up includes many variants of the Les Paul, the SG, the Flying V, the Explorer, the Melody Maker and the Firebird as well as Designer and Custom Shop models in addition to a line of bass guitars. Gibson Guitars lives!