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5 Famous Guitarists that Played a Gibson Flying V

The Gibson Flying V is one of the most interesting guitars of all-time simply because of its unique body shape. Over the years, a number of guitarists have gravitated towards the instrument for one reason or another. These are just a handful of famous players that have taken up the iconic axe. 

Mike McCready of Pearl Jam

Mike McCready of Pearl Jam has played a ton of guitars in his career. But besides his Strat and his Les Paul, he’s also been seen with a Flying V. In 2011, McCready auctioned an autographed Flying V for a charity, and in more recent years, he was seen smashing one of these Gibsons at a benefit concert. We think he just really enjoys using the Flying V for a good cause, even if sometimes it’s a bit intense. You can see all the action below! 


Chuck Berry

One of the pioneers of rock n’ roll music, Chuck Berry was known to play a hollowbody electric guitar but he wasn’t shy about picking up different types of axes either. Popular guitar brand, Seymour Duncan tweeted out the photo below of Berry performing with the iconic guitar. Check out the tweet below!


Brian May of Queen 

Brian May’s guitar sound is one of the most iconic tones in rock history. We love him so much at Guitartricks, we put him on the cover of our magazine you can read here and you can even learn his signature style. His custom-built Red Special guitar is what he’s known for playing but for a short period during the early 80’s he played a Gibson Flying V. You’ll be able to find some rare photos if you Google him with the guitar, but until then, you can listen to him kill this “Brighton Rock” performance below. 


Tom Petty

In the photo below, Tom Petty can be seen admiring the tuning pegs of the Flying V, or maybe he’s simply tuning the guitar in the middle of a shoot, who knows? Either way, the Heartbreakers included the instrument as part of their official logo. And if that’s not enough, Petty even told Q Magazine in 1989 that he thought the guitar was “great” ever since he saw Dave Davies playing one on TV. 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1977 By ABC/Shelter Records (eBayfrontback) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsTom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1977 By ABC/Shelter Records (eBayfrontback) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Albert King

Albert King might have the most famous of all Flying V’s because not only did he own a lot of them, but they actually had a name. Each Flying V he had was named Lucy, which should not be confused with Lucille, the name of a famous Gibson hollow body guitar played by that other blues King, B.B. King. 

Albert King 1978 By Lioneldecoster [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons


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