This is the definitive bible on the Flying V, Explorer and Firebird guitars. Written by Tony Bacon,
who owns the last word on all things guitar, this tells the history of the three instruments. Before the Flying V and Explorer guitars were built in 1958, guitars were more conventionally-shaped. Gibson turned everything around when they added straight lines and angled body shapes to their designs.
The V and Explorer were the first generation of odd-shaped guitars; the Firebird was the second generation, coming out in the early '60s. Though these instruments broke the mold in terms of aesthetics, financially they didn't score at all. People didn't buy them; nobody wanted to play instruments that looked so strange.
From the vantage point of history, however, these guitars would go on to become some of the most sought-after instruments ever made; everyone from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix would play them. Additionally, they'd influence numerous other guitar makers, including Hamer, Dean, Jackson, Ibanez and BC Rich, in the design of their instruments. There are interviews with players and guitar builders; tremendous photos; and the historical data describing when, who and what.