Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
J-200 Koa

Tom Petty's Hummingbird

Recommended Posts

Any information on Tom Petty's Hummingbird that he used on the 2017 tour? The block inlays on the fretboard

caught my eye. Did Gibson ever make a run with these inlays or is this custom?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A truly unique neck on that old Bird.

Block-inlays and bindings, but not around the head, which could be expected when seeing cupids bow after the 20th fret.

A shame it's too late for Tom P. to tell us more. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1969-70 and on were the block inlays. My guess it was on the cusp of the change (belly up bridge but no splits) or re-necked to get away from the 1 5/8" or 1 9/16". It is the short scale though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1969-70 and on were the block inlays. My guess it was on the cusp of the change (belly up bridge but no splits) or re-necked to get away from the 1 5/8" or 1 9/16". It is the short scale though.

 

 

The block inlays started around 1971, by Fabulous Flat Tops. But those would have been long scale guitars, I believe. I don't know what he neck width would have been in that period. It was the dark ages for Gibson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a friend who owns a 1970 HB with the block inlays so the change seems to have been effected some time during that year as both style inlays appear on the guitars. As to the nut width, I do not recall what the nut width was on his HB. I know guitars built in 1968 still had the skimpy nut while I have played instruments built in 1971 that had returned to the 1 11/16" nut. I do not have a clue though what year the nut change was made. 1969, however, was the year CMI merged with ECL so possibly there was some re-tooling going on which tended to result in changes in specs.

Edited by zombywoof

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not so sure about the "1970s" date for this Hummingbird.

 

I agree that the '70s saw a switch to small block inlays for Hummingbirds. Here's a nice illustration:

gibson-hummingbird-custom-1970-cons-full-front.jpg-nggid0518537-ngg0dyn-845x0x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010.jpg

 

But you'll notice that the inlays on the Petty Hummingbird are larger. To me it appears that his has something like an L-5 fingerboard on it: bound board, larger blocks, ebony (?) possibly, and the pointed fingerboard end.

 

Don't know what the story is on this one, but it does not seem to conform to the typical specs for the 70s Birds. Perhaps someone else has the low-down on this guitar?

 

Fred

Edited by J-1854Me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at the end of the neck by the sound hole. It has that little point in the middle like my SJ200. Don't think that was ever on a bird. The body binding also looks wider than stock.

634660584-e1493094411210-1400x978_zpsgy5jutd5.jpg

Edited by BC Mike 118

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at the end of the neck by the sound hole. It has that little point in the middle like my SJ200. Don't think that was ever on a bird. The body binding also looks wider than stock.

 

Already mentioned in post #2 - I and perhaps others call it a cupids bow.

Nice pic, , , of a probably nice guitar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For whatever obscure reason, could someone have put a Hummingbird pick guard on another square shouldered Gibson?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For whatever obscure reason, could someone have put a Hummingbird pick guard on another square shouldered Gibson?

Don't think so - rather a new fretboard over what seems to be a genuine first-half-60's Bird.

Gotta zoom in on those back-braces - they'll probably say 64/65/66/67.

Edited by E-minor7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone could have ordered a Hummingbird w/ birds beak and L5 inlays back in the 60's ... Lenny Kravitz said Tom Petty would always be looking for vintage guitars while on tour and puchased only the finest stuff.

 

 

 

 

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Already mentioned in post #2 - I and perhaps others call it a cupids bow.

Nice pic, , , of a probably nice guitar.

 

I didn't know that is called a Cupid's Bow - now I don't have to call it a pointy thing :)

Edited by BC Mike 118

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't think so - rather a new fretboard over what seems to be a genuine first-half-60's Bird.

Gotta zoom in on those back-braces - they'll probably say 64/65/66/67.

 

Yup you are almost certainly correct. - fretboard is ebony & the bridge is rosewood. Now I'm wondering which guitar that fretboard was meant to be on......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup you are almost certainly correct. - fretboard is ebony & the bridge is rosewood. Now I'm wondering which guitar that fretboard was meant to be on......

 

It's generally referred to as an L-5 fingerboard.

 

Fred

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's generally referred to as an L-5 fingerboard.

 

Fred

 

 

But that headstock is not like an L-5, which would have a bound headstock and the fancier flowerpot inlay.

 

It is certainly a conglomeration of features!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But that headstock is not like an L-5, which would have a bound headstock and the fancier flowerpot inlay.

 

It is certainly a conglomeration of features!

 

I'll never be rich but there was a time when the only guitar I could afford came out of a bin behind Long & McQuade music store in Vancouver around 1970. I got two of them actually and had to strip the fingerboard from one to put on the other. All said and done I could play a few chords up to the 4th or 5th fret before intonation went way off track. Since I didn't do any barre chords at the time it all worked out fine. Fun times.... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are something else 😂😂

 

They really are.

 

I usually never have anything to add to these types of threads because the knowledge on this Forum is mind boggling.

 

I do enjoy reading them though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that's Toms. As a matter of fact that sets off all kinds of alarms for me. Don't buy it, if you haven't already.

 

No, for sure it isn't Tom's and it looks suspicious to me as well. I thought it was interesting as it has the big block inlays but it looks like someone may have gone to a lot of trouble to fake one as it does look old. Not sure if it's ok to post a link but there are lots of other pics. One very concerning issue is they say they "can't find" a serial #. It does have Gibson Hummingbird label insideand maybe the experts can look it over .....

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/GIBSON-HUMMINGBIRD-VINTAGE-SUNBURST-ACOUSTIC-GUITAR-RARE-MAPLE-NO-RESERVE/202308358005?hash=item2f1a848f75:g:XNcAAOSwoT1a8l~t

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...