Gibson Guitars

Gibson Flying V

The Gibson Flying V is a child of the space age, made in the late Fifties when cars had fins and pastel colors. It was a bit too futuristic for its day, and not many were actually produced in those days. Jimi started using it in September 1967, at the end of the Axis: Bold As Love sessions.

Almost all Flying V’s were cherry red, and only 44 were black. The original Flying V’s had a korina wood body, but the one Jimi owned was made after 1966, and had a mahogany body. It is fitted with a short Vibrola tailpiece. Jimi painted the guitar himself, probably with nail-polish, or something of the sort.

In January 1969 Jimi gave the guitar away to Mick Cox of Eire Apparent, an Irish band who toured with Hendrix. He then used a sunburst Flying V before he got the new lefthanded one that was made specially for him, in May 1970.

Mick Cox actually stripped the guitar of its painting (pretty strange if you ask me) and sold it to Ken Hensley of Uriah Heep. It ended up with session musician Dave Brewis, and Brewis did som detective work, and restored it to its old glory in 1999. It has later been replicated by Gibson, the artwork is done by artist Bruce Kunkel.

Gibson SG Custom

The Gibson SG arrived early in the sixties under the name Gibson Les Paul Special, but the Les Paul name was dropped in -63, and it beacame the SG (Solid Guitar).

Jimi used an version with three pickups and a vibrato device called Vibrola, an SG Custom. He aquired it late in 1968, and jused it for about a year, including on the Dick Cavett Show in September 1969.

Jimi Hendrix Flying V

Hendrix had a special left-handed Flying V made for him by Gibson. The Jimi Hendrix Flying V has the serial number 849476. It is black with gold hardware, and also has a Trini Lopez fingerboard with diamond inlays instead of the usual dots.

Hendrix got this guitar in the spring of 1970, and used it on the «Cry of Love» tour. He also used it in Hawaii, as seen in the movie «Rainbow Bridge».

This guitar was believed to be a 1970 model, but according to Gibson the serial number seems to be from 1969. Since the guitar isn’t entered into the logs at Gibson, it indicates that this guitar was shipped from Gibson in 1969, and were a custom-ordered model.

Hendrix’ stage manager Eric Barrett aquired the Jimi Hendrix Flying V, and sold it to Hard Rock Cafe in Dallas, Texas.

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