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Guitar, object photograph, enlargement

From The Chinery Collection

Gibson Flying V
Gibson Inc.
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty, the Flying V was the firm's first boldly shaped electric guitar, introduced in 1958. It was developed as part of a modernistic line of guitars which included the Explorer and the never-manufactured Moderne. But the design proved too extreme—sales lagged and production ended within two years.

Then in the late 1960s, musicians like Albert King and Jimi Hendrix helped revive the popularity of the Flying V, and this induced guitar makers to develop other adventurous designs.

Listen to comments from guitarist G.E. Smith:

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