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Amazing story from Billy Gibbons


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Full interview here: http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/the-man-behind-the-beard-501/


The pertinent section:


There are some rumors about some special guitars in your collection. There’s talk about the only prototype of a Gibson Moderne being part of your arsenal.


In 1957, Gibson president Ted McCarty had three designs patented for guitars that looked futuristic: The Flying V, the Explorer and the Moderne. The V and the Explorer went into production; only the Moderne disappeared from sight. But there were rumors all the time about one prototype, especially since the late McCarty could remember one. A couple of years ago I received a call from a friend who heard that a painter from San Antonio wanted to sell a funny-looking old guitar. No big surprise he thought about me immediately. [Laughs.] We drove there, checked out the guitar and bought it. It looked like an old Gibson Moderne, definitely not one of the reissues that Gibson sold in 1982. We showed it to some experts, but none of them could help. Even guitar guru George Gruhn got on the case. He disassembled the guitar and examined every screw, every cable, everything, but not even he could identify this instrument, because there was no information about the Moderne apart from the blueprints. But what he could tell for sure was that all parts of this guitar were from the ’50s. We’ll probably never know. What’s interesting is how this painter, who has nothing to do with guitars, got hold of it: He found it at a junk clearance somewhere.



One helluva story. What do you reckon it'd be worth if it really was the one and only Moderne ever made? What a piece of guitar history to just be laying around in a painter's pile.

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