Monday, January 23, 2012

Dreaming || 1984 Designer Series Gibson Flying V || Old Guitars

In september of 1984 I was a 12 year old kid taking a huge bite out of the guitar licks bellowing from the Scorpions newly released album, "Love at First Sting".  The dueling solos between Mattias Jabs and Rudolph Schenker filled my young head with dreams of someday being on stage wielding an axe nearly as cool as these guys.  I loved Matthias' explorer, but oh that flying V was the real dream.  Ever since I saw it sketched on Dave Fedorenko's book cover in math class the love affair began.

However years, responsibility, boredom, etc. got in the way and it took me until 2006 to finally think about getting a band together.  The Booty Chesterfield Trio played the circuit for several years.  My main axe at the beginning was a 1982 Smith Stratocaster by Fender.  It is still a sweet guitar, but not much of an attention grabber.  Around the end of 2009 I saw The Gillbillies play for the first time.  The first thing that struck me about these cats was how bad ass Jimbo was for rocking a Flying V.  The flame of my old (and almost forgotten) love was reignited.  I wanted to be like Jimbo.  I wanted to rock a Flying V.  But not just any V would do.  If there is one thing that I learned from The Gillbillies is that you have to have a different, unique approach.  So I wasn't just going to find an "off the shelf" V; I wanted something with style.

Months went by.  Then in February of 2010 I saw this beauty rear its ugly head on good old Craigslist.  A 1984 Designer Series Gibson Flying V.  I had to have it.  Plus, I thought it was a heck of a deal.  My main reason for acquiring it was kind of as a joke, i.e. to live out a childhood fantasy of rocking a Flying V on stage.  Then I got my hands on it....

I got it off some kid in N. San Jose's Japantown.  It was in decent shape.  At one time it had stickers all over it that had been removed still the clear coat has aged at different times.  The pickups had been switched out a long while back to Seymour Duncans.  There were no breaks or major chips and the neck felt good.  There were two missing volume knobs and a cracked tone knob.  After a quick test run I quickly paid the chap his cash and headed home for a true test drive.

The first thing I noticed was how good the pickups sounded.  I had a Classic Les Paul before with 500t & 496r pickups in it and it sounded like golden ringing compared to my LP (which I soon traded away).  The neck also was super fast and played awesome.  I replaced the volume and tone knobs with some old jaguar ones and we were off to the races.  I played this guitar as my main stage axe for all of 2009 and pretty much all of the rest of the Booty Chesterfield Trio shows.  I don't ever plan on selling this bad boy.  Too cool for school, plus it has a little bit of my childhood metal roots embedded within those licks it puts out.  Enjoy the pictures.

And here are a couple of videos of the V in action:

Live shots are courtesy of Ian Healy & Murray Bowles

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