Jimi Hendrix’s 1969 Gibson Flying V (Tobacco burst)
This is the second Gibson Flying V that Jimi played in his career. Of the three that he had in total (or at least used publicly), this one is probably the least known and most certainly the least photographed. This, of course, makes it much more difficult to research this guitar properly.
Although some sources claim that Jimi started using the tobacco burst Flying V as early as January 1969, the first photo of Hendrix with the guitar that we’ve been able to find dates back to May 18, 1969, and was taken backstage at the Madison Square Garden [The not-so-slight return of Jimi Hendrix By Todd Leopold, CNN] Given the assumption that Jimi used the Flying V only for a song or two during a set, it is definitely possible that he used it prior to May 18th, but that it simply wasn’t photographed nor filmed. The second photo that shows Jimi with the guitar was featured on the cover of Lonnie Youngblood album ‘Two Great Experiences Together’ (see below), which was taken sometime in 1969 (if you know of an exact date, get in touch).
Be that as it may, this definitely seems like something that Jimi didn’t heat up to for one reason or another. If you compare it to the older 1967 black Flying V – that guitar was used extensively in late 1967 alongside his main go-to, a white Strat. Even the black Flying V that came in later on in 1970 (left-handed) was seen on numerous occasions, while the tobacco burst was basically only spotted on two occasions.
Tobacco Burst Flying V Today
The guitar is apparently currently owned by the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and it can be seen at the company’s casino in Las Vegas. [Gibson Flying V – Zachary R. Fjestad, Larry Meiners; p.23] If any of you by any chance happen to walk by it, please snap a photo and send it to us. We’ve tried finding one online, but nothing pops up – which is a bit weird given how many photos there are of Jimi’s other two Flying Vs.