Eddie Kramer / My Jimi Hendrix memories as Gibson release two signature guitars
18 November 2020
Gibson guitars are to release two signature guitars, the Jimi Hendrix™ 1969 Flying V in Aged Ebony and the Jimi Hendrix™ 1967 SG Custom in Aged Polaris White.
“Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.” – Jimi Hendrix.
The packages feature personal touches, including official photos of Jimi with the guitars, as well as a collection of anecdotes and personal photographs of Jimi from his collaborator, the renowned engineer and producer Eddie Kramer.
The release is timed to celebrate the anniversary of Jimi’s birthday, 27 November 1942.
Gibson have already started their ‘Inspired By Hendrix’ series via their website and social media, which features special events, interviews and performances.
The 1969 Flying V has been created in both right and left-handed versions and features a Murphy Lab Aged Ebony finish and aged gold hardware. Only 125 right-handed Flying V guitars and 25 left-handed versions will be created as part of a very special run of guitars, hand-made by the expert luthiers and craftspeople of the Gibson Custom Shop in Nashville, TN.
In 1969, Hendrix custom-ordered a left-handed Gibson Flying V directly from Gibson. Used during the Band of Gypsys era, the following year Hendrix’s Gibson Flying V was made famous during his performance at the Isle of Wight Festival at Afton Downs on 31 August 1970.
The supplied Certificate of Authenticity includes an image of Jimi performing at the Isle Of Wight with the guitar.
A few weeks prior to his legendary Woodstock performance on 18 August 1969, Jimi Hendrix made his national TV debut on The Dick Cavett Show on 7 July 1969 [cover photo].
In his interview with Cavett, Hendrix discussed the idea of creating an electric church: “It’s just a belief that I have. We do these electric guitars, everything is electrified nowadays, so therefore the belief comes through in the electricity to the people.
“That’s why we play so loud, because it doesn’t actually hit through the ear drums. Most groups say, ‘we’re going to play loud because they’re playing loud’ and they’ve got this real shrill sound that’s hard.
“We are playing for our sound to go inside the soul of the person and see if it can awaken some-kind-of-thing in their minds, since there are so many sleeping people.”
For his second performance on The Dick Caveat Show, 9 September 1969, Hendrix played a right-handed 1967 Gibson SG (strung lefty) for a medley of ‘Izabella’ and ‘Machine Gun’.
The ’67 Gibson is in in Aged Polaris White.
The guitar cases have been designed with interior linings inspired by the clothes Jimi Hendrix wore at Isle of Wight (Flying V) and on The Dick Cavett Show (Gibson SG).
Eddie Kramer’s personal photo of Jimi Hendrix with his Flying V guitar [above] was taken when Hendrix was rehearsing for a performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City on 18 May 1969.
Kramer told MetalTalk: “Jimi’s hands were huge and he used his thumb to bar the entire neck of the guitar, which yielded much of his unique tone. He is seen here quietly rehearsing on the Gibson Flying V, prior to going on stage.
“He used the V for playing the blues and that was his way of relaxing.
“Millions of people around the world of all ages have heard Jimi’s music for the first time and felt that their path was changed forever.
“I felt that too, after hearing him playing through his amp at Olympic Studios in January 1967. I was never the same after ‘experiencing that wall of sound’ and I dedicated myself to capturing that sound, which became my obsession!
“Jimi had a special magic that came from his brain directly to his heart and then to his fingers, exploding onto the neck of the guitar.
“He was the greatest guitar player the world has ever known and left a legacy of guitar magic that no one since has come close to. I am honoured and privileged to have been involved with this project, as Gibson has done an incredible job of recreating these guitars.
“I can imagine the expression on the fans’ faces when they open up the guitar case and wrap their hands around the neck of one of these beauties, plug in and maybe change the world!”
Janie Hendrix, Sister of Jimi, said: “I don’t know of a more perfect time than the present for the world to be inspired and electrified by the spirit of Jimi, embodied in these guitars!
“Jimi didn’t play with just his hands, he played his heart and really his soul, using his guitar to create positive energy. He wanted to awaken the world with it.
“Gibson has harnessed some of that energy, and beautifully! It’s amazing to know that fans and those who love Jimi and his music, will be able to plug into that power and keep his legacy alive.
“With Gibson, we have selected two of his most impressive guitars to recreate. It’s quite an homage to Jimi and we couldn’t be more excited about what this means historically.” Janie Hendrix is President and CEO of Experience Hendrix L.L.C. and Authentic Hendrix LLC.
Cesar Gueikian from Gibson told MetalTalk: “Having the opportunity to release Jimi’s 1969 Gibson Flying V and 1967 Gibson SG Custom is a dream come true, an amazing opportunity that comes with an obligation for all of us at Gibson to pay tribute to Jimi.
“He left this world way too early, but the legacy and influence he left behind is unparalleled.
“I am grateful for Jimi’s sister Janie Hendrix’s partnership and friendship and that she has trusted our team to pay tribute to Jimi.
“This is just the beginning; we are looking forward to all that the Gibson and Authentic Hendrix partnership will bring to fans in the coming years.
“Additionally, working alongside Eddie Kramer, a music pioneer on so many levels, is just incredible. Eddie captured that epic sound, engineering, producing and bringing to life that magical and game-changing Hendrix guitar style.
“We are honoured to share Eddie’s personal photographs and the memories he experienced.”