Derek Trucks’ 1965 Gibson Firebird V

Derek acquired this guitar from vintage gear dealer Ed Seelig in St. Louis and used it on “Made Up Mind” and “Whiskey Legs” from Tedeschi Trucks Band’s 2013 album. For that occasion, the guitar was plugged into an old Ampeg B-12 bass amp.

For “Made Up Mind” I used an old Ampeg V-12 bass amp quite a bit. Also a 1965 Firebird V I got from Ed Seelig that turned out to be an amazing guitar. Plugging it into that old bass amp, I was able to fully dig into the low end and it never gave up on me.

Jim Scott (who produced the album with Trucks) is really honest about what he’s hearing. So we would pick a song to record and start looking for guitar sounds, and I would plug in and he’d immediately say “that’s good,” or “kind of boring. Next.” When I plugged the Firebird into the Ampeg, his reaction was immediate: “That’s a sound I want to hear over and over.”

Derek Trucks on “Made Up Mind”
Derek playing his 1965 Gibson Firebird V at his home studio.
Derek playing his 1965 Gibson Firebird V at his home studio.

He also used this guitar on the 2011 album Revelator, on the songs “Learn how to Love” and “Don’t Let me Slide”.

I used a ’65 Gibson Firebird on “Learn How to Love” and “Don’t Let Me Slide,” and I dropped my usual open-E tuning down a step to D.

Ball & Chain, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi’s Blues Union


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