2009 Epiphone Flying V Korina ’58 Reissue
The Flying V is one of the most ragin’ and rockinest guitars ever made. Just playing it makes you want to turn a giant fan on and play in front of it in a crazy broad stance. Most people, though, don’t know that the guitar’s history goes way back before its heyday in the 70s and 80s. It goes back all the way to 1958 (per this remake)! It’s had quite the evolution in the world of guitars. You should be warned though: If you’re not ready to rock, you should stay more than 50 feet away from this guitar.
It has a crazy-fast mahogany neck and total upper fret access (yeah, you get all 22 with this thing… for shredding, of course), and two exploding Humbuckers that could potentially melt more than faces if not used carefully. The guitar was made in the Unsung Korean plant in 2009, which means that it is the real freakin’ deal (they were later made at a different place in China and not made as well, from what I’ve read).
History of the Flying V
There’s no denying that this guitar is a classic. The look and the sound are both iconic. What many don’t know is that it was originally released in 1958! The Flying V was developed by Gibson alongside other famous guitars like the ES-335 and Explorer as a reaction to Fender’s popular “futuristic” guitar designs. Yes, there was a time when a Strat looked like the guitar of the future.
When the Flying V was released, it reassured dealers and players that Gibson was an innovative company, but many dealers thought the design was just too “space age” for them to stock it. Guitar sellers would often buy just one Flying V from Gibson to use as a window display!
For nearly 10 years, the Gibson sold abysmally low numbers of Flying V’s. But in the mid-60s, several popular musicians started playing them. These musicians included Lonnie Mack, Albert King, and, most notably, Dave Davies of the Kinks. This exposure increased demand for this unique-looking guitar, so Gibson issued a new model of the Flying V in 1966. After this flash-in-the-pan popularity, the guitar was discontinued in 1970.
In 1975, after a few limited-edition runs, the Flying V returned to regular production and has stayed a part of Gibson’s solid body electric guitar lineup in some form ever since. In the 70s, as hard rock and metal were exploding in popularity, guitarists became enamored with the Flying V’s aggressive look and sound. This popularity continued into the 80s, with Metallica’s Kirk Hammet and James Hetfield solidifying the legacy of this unique guitar.
Even though late 50s guitarists weren’t ready for it, peoples’ tastes eventually caught up with the Flying V. Now it’s one of the most instantly recognizable guitars ever made. For a more in-depth history, check out this article.