60 years young: the Flying V

This weekend saw the 60th anniversary of one of the most iconic guitars ever produced, the Gibson Flying V.

In the late 1950’s Gibson’s then president, Ted McCarthy looked to modernise their range of guitars and along came the Flying V, the Futura (later renamed the Explorer) and the Moderne.  Although there was some early interest in the Flying V – such as from blues legend Albert King, the guitars were a bit ahead of their time and were soon discontinued.

Albert King

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gopiZc1F_Yk

Albert King with his Flying V playing the Sky is Crying

The National newspaper ran a good article on the history of the Flying V on Saturday which can be found here: http://thenational.scot/culture/15811338.The_Flying_V__Celebrating_60_years_of_the_iconic_guitar/

The only thing missing from the article was any mention of one of my favourite guitarists who was rarely seen playing anything other than a Flying V – K K Downing of Judas Priest.  So to rectify this, here is a clip of one of his solos in one of his last tours with Judas Priest.

K K Downing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kANgLXKrTP0

KK Downing guitar solo

 

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