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1976 Guild S-100 Standard, as made famous by Gary Kemp

In truth, my first grown-up guitar - but also a favourite of Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, on their first album, before the big ballads took over. Check out "Musclebound" on TOTP in 1981. 

And nowadays beloved for its looks and sounds by players with an edge: St Vincent, Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump, Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen, and probably most famously Kim Thayil from Soundgarden.  So much so that as part of Guild's 70th anniversary in 2023, they released two S-100 Kim Thayil Signature Models, based on his 1978 S-100s.  OK, maybe a touch too much gold hardware, but still a gorgeous guitar.

Whether you're in the gold or chrome camp, this really is a beautifully built and contoured guitar.  And it still holds its tone and attack after nearly 50 years on the planet.  It's definitely been gigged . . . I know that because it was my main guitar for more than 20 years.  For the curious and eclectic, this is the guitar behind "where are they now?" 80s Indie/Pop band President Reagan Is Clever. It's a perfect example of advertising truth: the "extra-fast, very thin solid mahogany neck" makes for the lowest action guitar I've ever played in my life.  A real gem!

See & Hear It In Action
  • Musclebound: And here's the real thing.  Gary Kemp plays the Guild S-100 on Top Of The Pops in 1981, albeit with a black pickguard.
  • To Cut A Long Story Short: And proving that guitar-sharing is not a new thing, here's Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet playing the same guitar from the same era.




S-100 Standard





Serial  Number


Number of Frets









Guild Rotomatic Grovers


Guild HB-1 Humbuckers


Guild Adjust-O-Matic


Guild Stop Tailpiece

Scale Length


Full Length


Further Information:

  • Guild produced the original S-100s from 1970 to 1978, as an evolution of the two single-coil pick-up Polara S-100 first introduced in 1963.  The S-100 was reissued from 1994 to 1997, after which, as the full circle goes, Guild reintroduced the Polara name.

  • 1976 was the first year that the S-100 became available in white, along with the unbound neck, and clear pickguard.  They also took the opportunity to further strengthen the differentiation with "GUILD"-stamped Grover-like tuners and dot inlays replacing the block inlays on the fretboard.

  • Even with its offset double-cut body style, unfavourable claims that the S-100 was too close to the Gibson SG led Guild in 1976 to introduce the S-300, a dramatically different body shape.  It has its lovers, and it definitely looked the part in the late-70s/early 80s, but it just hasn't stood the test of time like the S-100 has.

  • This one has its fair share of fading & distinctive dents - relic'd through use rather than craftsmanship.  To play, it remains a fantastic low-action, high-speed guitar, all parts original, all parts working perfectly.

Sources & Links
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