Radical, revolutionary, and primed to rock the universe
1959 Korina Flying V
"Russia has launched her satellite, perhaps to the embarrassment of the U.S., but the Gibson folks have come forth with their own 'first' – the futuristic 'Flying V' guitar." — Gibson Gazette, November 1957
When Gibson unveiled the Flying V as part of its Modernistic Series in 1958 – alongside its partner, the Explorer – the guitar world just wasn’t ready for this sleek vision of the future. But there was no turning back, as these unique sculptures of musical innovation changed forever the way electric guitars were to be conceived, perceived and designed. Their solid Korina wood bodies and necks were carved into super-angular shapes with no discernible bouts, wastes or traditional cutaways of any sort. The Flying V was even verging on impossible to play sitting down — yet who could sit for long while playing an instrument like this anyway? The Flying V was made for strutting, swaggering, wailing rock. It’s just that no one quite realized it at the time. Realistically, the Modernistic models were aimed at a music that had yet to be born. But in the late 1960s and into the ’70s when heavy rock ruled stadium stages all over the world, these bold guitars became the ultimate incarnations of the music. From the time of their birth, however, until their deletion in 1960, less than 200 units of both models were manufactured – a reality that eventually made them some of the most sought-after guitars in the world.