See Jimi Hendrix’s Custom Gibson SG and Flying V Up Close in Hard Rock Video

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Some people have really cool jobs.

Take Jeff Nolan, Hard Rock's resident historian and self-described all-around music nerd. He gets to spend his days playing around with the historic guitars in the Hard Rock’s memorabilia collection.

In this video, Nolan (at left) sits down with luthier Kip Elder to talk about two very special gems in the collection: Jimi Hendrix’s historic white 1967 Gibson SG Custom and his custom left-handed 1969 Flying V. Hendrix was particular to these designs because they could easily be flipped for left-handed playing.

Hendrix played the white SG Custom for about a year from 1968 to 1969. One of his best-known appearances with it was on The Dick Cavett Show, on September 9, 1969. (You can check out the trailer for the video of that appearance below.) Hendrix, along with Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox, performed “Izabella” and gave the premiere performance of “Machine Gun.”

This custom 1969 Flying V was Hendrix’s third V, following a 1967 model he’d hand painted and a 1968 tobacco burst model. He played the custom V throughout 1970, most notably at the Isle of Wight concert, on August 31, 1970.

Unfortunately, Nolan and Elder don’t play the guitars (that might amount to sacrilege anyway), but they do walk us through some of each guitar’s specific features. Enjoy.