Author: Tony Bacon, 8.”5 x 11”, 144 pages. Soft Cover. Weight: 1.6 lb. Publisher: Backbeat. ISBN: 978-1-61713-008-3. Price: $24.99.
Until the launch of the Flying V and Explorer in 1958, electric guitars were supposed to look like…guitars. Suddenly, Gibson turned conventional design upside down, almost literally, by using straight lines and angular body shapes, changing the way electrics could look and, in the process, creating a set of rare future collectables. Flying V, Explorer, Firebird tells the story of those first peculiar instruments, describes Gibson’s second attempt at nonstandard designs with the Firebird of the early ’60s, and details their influence on guitar-makers such as Hamer, Jackson, Dean, Ibanez, and BC Rich, all of whom embraced Gibson’s original weird-is-good design ethic. Interviews with players – including Zakk Wylde, the Edge, and Rick Nielsen – and makers illuminate the story of this fascinating assortment of electric guitar innovations, alongside specially commissioned images of every key model and brand and an enviable collection of guitar memorabilia, plus a gallery of leading guitarists photographed in action with their instruments. If it’s weird and has strings, it’s in Flying V, Explorer, Firebird.
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