That right there is a title. It’s a good title, as far as titles go. It tells you exactly what I’m gonna do! (It’s probably a horrible lie.)
Today, I’m in the mood to write something. I feel pretty good, actually. I was even able to smoke some pot. Damned right and about time!
That was probably a bad idea, ’cause I haven’t been able to smoke much lately and imbibed a ton of it. Hindsight is 20/20 and I now see that I didn’t think my plan through very well.
After much inner-discussion, I narrowed down the list of things I was going to write about. Trust me, you don’t actually want to know the subjects that were cut from the list, but they had very little to do with guitar and things like fake Grange Hall conspiracies were on the list.
It’s probably important for me to tell you the complete truth. It is that I don’t actually yet know what guitar I’m gonna tell you about. Not a clue, really. I’m pretty sure I’ll think of something!
Hmm… I should do a series on guitars that were horrible, horrible ideas. I’m probably not gonna, but I should do that.
But… The plan is to write about a guitar. I can’t actually say that’s what I’m gonna do, but I remain hopeful! So, get in the car! We’re going on a grand adventure!
~*hands you a rusty screwdriver, half-eaten fruit roll-up, and an old film canister filled with pennies*~
Bring those, you’ll know when it’s time to use them!
Let’s just take a look at Gibson for a moment…
There exists a guitar that’s so perfect at what it does that it has become an icon. That’s a Les Paul. Point conceded, Gibson wins that match.
There exists another guitar that is, well… It is what it is and just owning it says a whole lot about what you’re probably gonna be doing with it. That’d be the Gibson Flying V. Again, point conceded and Gibson wins that match.
When you see someone with a Flying V, regardless of who made it, you know damned well they probably want to be a rock star – or they already are.
It’s like when you see someone in a clean, un-dented, original Hummer, you know they’re just wrong in the head. If they have a Flying V, they’re either living the dream or they have a dream – and that dream is rock.
It’s almost certainly a dream about one of the metal variants of rock. It’s almost certainly not a dream about hip-hop or bubble-gum rock. Today, you do see the Flying V in a few places other than metal, but that’s pretty rare. You’ll sometimes see ’em playing the blues and that always makes me chuckle and remember how old the body style is.
Trust me, the thing’s fucking iconic. It is also mostly used by metal guitarists today – or by those who want to be metal guitarists. When someone pulls one out of his case, he’s probably not gonna be playing you folk music.
It wasn’t always something associated with metal, but it sure as hell is associated with metal today. The thing has been commercially available since 1958 and has been in continuous production since 1967. Which is to say that quite a few people played ’em who were distinctly not metal guitarists.
Jimi Hendrix was quite fond of playing one, and if you call him a metal guitarist Ol’ Buddha is gonna be sorely disappointed with you. Albert King, the famous blues guitarist, played one. He sure as shit wasn’t metal.
My point is, and I’m avoiding belaboring the point, that the Flying V is a grand guitar and it’s got a wonderful history. Many associate it with metal, but that’s just not fair – though that’s relatively unimportant for this article.
How can you fuck up something like that?
They’re not telling and I can only guess, but I think it went something like a bunch of non-guitarists were sitting around in an office. Inside that office, they were discussing ways to increase profit. So, let’s have a peek inside that meeting.
First, one of them pipes up with something like, “Hey, I have an idea! How can we make more money?”
Bob, ’cause that’s what we’re going to call him, worked in accounting. Bob said, “It’s 2007!” (Because Ol’ Buddha should mention that.) “We’ll make a Gibson Guitar of the Week, call them a series, make them limited edition, throw in some minor changes, ensure they’re released in low numbers, and sell them to suckers!”
Bob’s pretty much an asshole, for the record.
They all agreed this idea was brilliant – and it kinda was. We are not bright people, we play guitar. We are pretty dumb. You’ll see…
So, they worked their way up through the various guitars and made a bunch of gimmicky guitars that may or may not actually be worth the money. We bought them and up they went through the models.
Then, they got to that Flying V….
I can only assume they returned to Bob, ’cause Bob was now considered a genius, and asked him what to do with the Flying V.
Bob thought long and hard. Finally, he had an idea. Bob said, “You see that thingy right there, why not flip it around backwards?” And everybody cheered and they probably gave Bob a raise.
Bob is an idiot, but in his defense he was correct. You shall see…
Those fucking morons at Gibson just took the Flying V and turned the V around backwards. Yup… They made a “Reverse Flying V.”
That might just be the dumbest fucking guitar ever made.
Try as I might, I can’t think of a good thing to say about it. I’ve played one and let’s just say I didn’t buy it. Nope. Don’t want one of those, thanks.
To make it worse than you might already be thinking, the balance on it is terrible. It’s pretty fucking terrible, to be exact. Yes, that’s just one pot and yes that’s the pickup switch about 30 yards in front of it. No, I don’t know how the pot works. I was too disgusted by the thing to even learn.
Whose fucking bright idea was this monstrosity? Bob. I already told you that. Bob is just a bad human being. Bob’s a dick.
Bob’s a dick because we guitarists bought pretty much all of ’em. We bought so many of ’em that Gibson made like 900 more and called them a “limited edition re-release.” They promptly sold all of ’em, at like $1500!
People kept a few of them NIB and those will cost you about $3500. You can get a used one for, well… About $1500, maybe as low as $1200. You can overspend and maybe pay $2200 for one in excellent condition.
Which is to say, if these fucking stupid fucking guitars turn into collectables of value, I’m going to find Bob and punch Bob right in Bob’s face! I am, too!
You watch your back, Bob. I am not okay with this.
It’s a pretty much pointless guitar. It has zero redeeming qualities that make it desirable, other than the limited number produced. It’s just a gimmick, and a poorly done gimmick at that. I’ve played a lot of shitty guitars and that was one of them. Because of the way it balances, it’s almost unplayable.
Do you know how many guitarists they asked before making that guitar? Me either, but I bet the answer is, “Three, and they were all on acid.” It’s just a horrible idea – and my peers snapped them up like they’re treasures.
Well, a few were bought to hedge against it being a bad idea and in hopes that they’d increase in value. That right there is a gamble I’m not really wanting to take. I own zero of them. I strongly suspect that number will not change appreciably.
I can think of no situation where someone would pull one of them out of their case and I wouldn’t openly laugh at them. None. “I have pretty much the most pointless guitar on the planet. Let me show it to you!!!” No. If you have one of these, you need help. Don’t come to me for help, either. NO!
It’s pretty much Bob’s fault. He should know better. He should know that we’re guitarists and that we’re idiots. It’s just wrong for Bob to capitalize on our stupidity. I think in a just world, we’d call that something like “abuse.”
See, we love you, Gibson. We trust you. We have given you a whole lot of love, respect, trust, and money. Gibson, if you want to know why you’re having financial difficulties – don’t fucking ask Bob. My guess is that, by now, you’ve promoted him to like VP of Marketing, you fucking morons.
That was a terrible idea and we’re not gonna fall for that trick a 148th time. We eventually learn our lesson. Well, we might… We’re not very smart. Even if we would, it’s still a terrible thing to do. You should be ashamed of yourselves. That Reverse Flying V is so pointless that it crosses the boundaries into stupid.
Worse, you completely shit on a the Flying V that has such a legend and embodies so many dreams. Every single one of the people who ever bought a Flying V had a dream. Granted, they weren’t the best dreams – but they were our dreams. Making the Reverse Flying V was a mockery of those dreams and abusive. That’s just wrong. That’s just not okay!
There… I told you about a guitar and I’m gonna pretend that’s a lesson. Strangely enough, it turns out the title was correct. I’m not actually sure how that happened. Until next time…
Shut up and play us a song!