Bird is the Word
In the early ‘60s, Gibson was still trying to finds its place in the
solidbody guitar world. Its Les Paul models had been a failure,
and Ted McCarty’s attempt at updating Gibson’s image with the
development of the Flying V and Explorer in the late ‘50s had
done little to change the company’s fuddy-duddy image.
Introduced in 1963, the Firebird was Gibson’s next effort to get
with the times. Ted enlisted famed auto designer Ray Dietrich
to develop the muted Explorer-shaped beast with more
than a tip of the hat to Fender thrown in through the
offset waist and peghead shape. The early run from ’ 63
to ’ 65 are commonly referred to as reverse body models,
and although not the dismal sales failures that the earlier
Korina V and Explorer were, didn’t exactly set the world
on – ahem – fire.
In ’ 65 the Firebird was redesigned with a
more traditional shape, and the production
of these non-reverse models would
continue until 1969.
The following is a sample of the
Firebirds currently available
on Gear Search.