My Gibson Byrdland, a piece of guitar history.

byrd3As a kid I started listening to guitar based Rock & Roll at a young age. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Van Halen, ZZ Top, Ted Nugent, and the list goes on from there….. were all part of me growing up and has a lot to do with the way I play today. One artist in-particular I loved was Ted Nugent. He played this hollow body guitar called a Gibson Byrdland that he could create all sorts of sounds with and by controlling the feedback almost make the thing talk back to him. I remember playing (and trying to play along with) Double Live Gonzo in my room for hours on end. I think the tape in one of the 8 tracks (LOL…, I know, I’m dating myself) actually broke I played it so much. Anyway, since those days I’ve always wanted a Gibson Byrdland.

As I got older, got a full time job, and in a position where I could actually afford one of these beauties, the hunt was on. I searched or inquired here and there for years.  I even contacted Gibson and got a price from the custom shop to build me a new one. However, even though the new one would have played and sounded great, I wanted to own a piece of history. So I kept searching, at this point mainly on eBay. I was looking for a 1961-1969 model with the Florentine (Pointed) cutaway and the 22 fret neck just like Ted’s. Then finally about 3 years ago I got my Byrdland. It was a 1965 and she was in pristine condition.

Byrd1Another reason I wanted to wait for the vintage Byrdland instead of buying the newer one, was everyone is always saying how much better the older instruments are.  The woods were better back then, etc……, they all say the instruments just sound better.  I personally think it’s because after so many years the wood of the instrument just settles, or somehow the sound vibrations actually become part of the wood itself.  Who knows for sure?  Not me!  However, what I do know is that when you play my Byrdland it actually feels like it’s alive.  A living, breathing entity in my hands (not just a chunk of wood) helping me to create music, or as Ted would say “Sonic Bombast.”

You can get a listen to what my Byrdland sounds like on the song “I Wanna Get Laid” off my CD “VERVILLE.”

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