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Johnny Winter Firebird


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I just got off the phone with a friend of mine that happens to be the guitar dealer that sold the Firebird to Johnny Winter from which that model is based. I though you might find the history of that guitar interesting (the real one, not the reissue).


It is a 1964 Firebird V, sold to Johnny on July 31, 1970 for $250.00. My dealer friend had paid $140.00 for it, so he made a whopping $110 on the sale (or 80% profit if you want to look at it that way). It originally had the Meastro Vibrola with the full engraved cover, and it was immediately removed and changed over to a stop tailpiece for Johnny. The headstock of that guitar has been broken off too many times to count, and it current headstock was a handmade replacement/repair, therefor is not the original "sculptured" style with the raised center portion. The "Gibson " logo truss rod cover/nameplate is long gone.


Since it is a known fact that Gibson recreates guitars of this nature in the likeness of the condition the instrument is in "today", I became curious how it got that way. The dealer that sold it to him has a lot of documentation on that guitar, including the original owner, the program from the gig at which is was presented to Johnny, and some other stuff that would have made great case candy for the new ones, but was never contacted. It also seems that Johnny gets 5 or 6 of the guitars in addition to whatever licensing fees, etc.


By the way, the same dealer also sold Johnny his white Firebird and at least one of his Nationals. The slide player in my band got to play one of the Nationals even before Johnny got his hands on it. My ES-345 and L-5 also came from this dealer. There is certainaly advantages, and peace of mind, in buying from a "reputable dealer".

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How do you like your 345? I just got a 64 ES345 and love it.


I love my 345. It's been my main gigging axe since the day I picked it up. It's a 2000 built "Historic"' date=' tobacco sunburst, stop-tail, and very accurate in the details of a '59ish. I've A/B'd it with an early sixties model, and both I and the guitar dealer were very impressed with it's accuracy in all respects.


I bought it to replace a worn out 335 that I had played since 1980, and have never regretted retiring (and selling) the 335 in favour of the 345.


Not meaning to redirect this thread, but here's a pic of my 345. Obviously I have personalized this guitar by removing the pickguard and Varitone number plate. I like the cleaner, simpler look.



Now back to the Johnny Winter Firebird.

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