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Old February 14th, 2010, 12:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Albert King's Flying V

Hi everybody.
I'm a huge fan of Albert King and Flying V's, and I thought that after I get a telecaster I'd want to get a Flying V. I am intrigued by what seems to be his #1, a non-Gibson Flying V, judging by its lack of a pickguard and having an LP headstock.
I'm thinking of making a replica of this in the future, but I'm having difficulty figuring out what is on his guitar. I'm fairly certain he used covered PAFs with white mounts, but am unsure of the other details, due to most photos of him being black and white or of poor quality.
I want to know:
What fretboard inlays did he have?
What colour was his hardware? (e.g. chrome/nickel/gold)
What wood was it?
What is the closest approximation to his finish?

Thanks in advance.

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Old February 14th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This footage shows another custom Flying V.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Huge Albert fan too.

Check out:

http://www.vintageguitar.com/newswir...sp?newsID=1632

I had this issue but didn't hold on to it. You can probably get a back issue from Vintage Guitar...
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Old February 14th, 2010, 01:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirfew View Post
Hi everybody.
I'm a huge fan of Albert King and Flying V's, and I thought that after I get a telecaster I'd want to get a Flying V. I am intrigued by what seems to be his #1, a non-Gibson Flying V, judging by its lack of a pickguard and having an LP headstock.
I'm thinking of making a replica of this in the future, but I'm having difficulty figuring out what is on his guitar. I'm fairly certain he used covered PAFs with white mounts, but am unsure of the other details, due to most photos of him being black and white or of poor quality.
I want to know:
What fretboard inlays did he have?
What colour was his hardware? (e.g. chrome/nickel/gold)
What wood was it?
What is the closest approximation to his finish?

Thanks in advance.


I believe Albert's V was hand built by master repairman Dan Erlewine.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 01:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I believe Albert's V was hand built by master repairman Dan Erlewine.
You are correct Sir.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 01:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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First, if i'm wrong about this excuse me. I believe Albert had one of the very first original Gibson V's. I also believe he was playing it when I saw him at the Lone Star Cafe in NYC in the late 70's, early 80's. I also believe it is now or was recently owned by Steven Segal (yes, that Steven Segal).
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Old February 14th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Aha! The guitar in the video is indeed the guitar I am talking about.
I heard that it was made of walnut, which would explain its appearance.

And how about that Steven Seagal, owner of three of Albert King's Flying Vs and one of Muddy Water's Telecasters?
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Old February 14th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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"Lucy" was indeed built by Dan Erlewine, one of the biggest Albert King fans. He had a great Guitar Player column that detailed the extensive repair work he had to do on it when Albert's equipment van was stolen and the trailer ended up in a drainage ditch full of water overnight.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This footage shows another custom Flying V.
Love the guy. Both he and BB King demonstrate that you don't have to play fast to be one of the best bluesmen on earth. They both know how to make individual notes sweet and expressive. It's not about lengthy runs of 16th notes.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 06:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Love the guy. Both he and BB King demonstrate that you don't have to play fast to be one of the best bluesmen on earth. They both know how to make individual notes sweet and expressive. It's not about lengthy runs of 16th notes.
Albert and B.B. demonstrated that you don't have to play fast, but you should be able to shake a string like a Jack Russell Terrier shaking a rat and bend it somewhere into the next area code.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 09:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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On the SRV/Albert King album, Albert talks about all these new guys that can play fast, but they ain't got no soul.

Damn straight, sir!

This is something that stuck with me from the first time I heard it, and it changed so much about my approach to guitar.

Cheers to The Velvet Bulldozer!
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Old February 14th, 2010, 10:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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On the SRV/Albert King album, Albert talks about all these new guys that can play fast, but they ain't got no soul.

Damn straight, sir!

This is something that stuck with me from the first time I heard it, and it changed so much about my approach to guitar.

Cheers to The Velvet Bulldozer!
You have no idea how much I agree with that in my case it's also a kind of contradiction because I play very fast metal runs and riffs with my band but on the other hand I also love to play some powerful melodic blues.

Even stronger, at the last rehearsal I was warming myself up by playing Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Rviera Paradise" and my leadsinger went "Whoa, that's a beautiful tune now that's stuff I normally never hear you play" my reply "That's because our songs don't ask for that kind of guitar playing."
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Old February 14th, 2010, 10:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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First, if i'm wrong about this excuse me. I believe Albert had one of the very first original Gibson V's. I also believe he was playing it when I saw him at the Lone Star Cafe in NYC in the late 70's, early 80's. I also believe it is now or was recently owned by Steven Segal (yes, that Steven Segal).
Yes, you are correct. He played an original '58. However, he later lost that guitar (legend has it in a poker game, I think that's Segal's story), he played the Lucy that Dan built, as well as some assorted Gibsons, including V2's I've seen in pics.

Dan's setup and maintenance book has a nice chapter on restoring the Lucy. Vintage Guitar magazine had a nice article on Seagal's extensive collection a few years ago. He has some important historical guitars, including the Muddy Waters Tele mentioned above and *3* Albert King Flying Vs.

Money shots of the three King V's Seagal owns:



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Old February 14th, 2010, 10:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Man seeing those pictures reminds me of the Flying V copy I owned.

POS guitar though, played really heavy and sounded raspy.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 08:05 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I mean, I haven't really listened or watched Albert play, Did he always perform with the strings upside down? That lefty V with reversed strings! Sick!
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Old September 19th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #16 (permalink)
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He started with right handed guitars so he learned to play it upside down. Doyle Brahmall 3 does the same thing
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Old September 19th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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He started with right handed guitars so he learned to play it upside down. Doyle Brahmall 3 does the same thing
As does Coco Montoya and the Legendary Dick Dale...
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Old September 19th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #18 (permalink)
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He started with right handed guitars so he learned to play it upside down. Doyle Brahmall 3 does the same thing

That's what I thought, But I was thinking, some one of his ability could start to learn the other side up, But don't worry It's great, Just a different style of playing, that he actually whoops ass at !
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Old September 19th, 2010, 11:14 AM   #19 (permalink)

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I mean, I haven't really listened or watched Albert play, Did he always perform with the strings upside down? That lefty V with reversed strings! Sick!
He also tuned to something weird. I remember reading that he would never tell anyone what it was, and in an interview Steve Cropper said once that in a session Albert left the guitar sitting out during a break and he and someone else
decided it was the perfect moment to figure out what the tuning was. I'll have to dig and see if I can find it again.

I also think he named all his guitars Lucy, just like BB has named all his guitars Lucille. The Blues Heaven Foundation museum in Chicago (the old Chess Records building) has a V from Albert King that's also named Lucy, but it was a custom built job and don't think it had another brand name on the headstock.

It was also kind of an ugly monstrosity. The top had a routed recurve on the edges (except for that curve the top was flat), binding, and was painted kind of a girly pinky purple metal flake.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Man, I want a flying v!
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