Eric Clapton’s 1950s Gibson Byrdland
Eric was seen with this guitar on a charity Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971 organized by George Harrison and Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar. The guitar was used during the first show, and this seems to be the only time Clapton ever used this guitar on stage.
Based on the visual cues – like the flowerpot headstock inlay, gold-plated hardware, pointy fingerboard at the end, and the tailpiece – the guitar appears to be a Byrdland model. There are however some deviations – like the fact that the fretboard has double parallelogram inlays which are usually found on the 350T model.
But, given the fact that most things point towards a Byrdland, and taking into consideration that Eric himself was apparently quoted saying he played that exact model during Concert for Bangladesh, it is safe to assume that this is indeed a closed case. But, it’s also very interesting that there doesn’t seem to be another one of these in existence – a Byrdland with double parallelogram inlays.
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