#1
Alright let me start off by saying I don't care what you think about how ugly or beautiful this instrument is. I'm not even concerned with anything regarding its quality or the quality of reproductions. What I would like to discuss is whether or not an original copy existed or still exists. Surely there is somebody out there who has done more research on this than me.

For those of you that don't know, the Moderne was designed with the Futura and original Flying V in the late '50's. Nobody is really sure whether prototypes were created and people are pretty confident it never made it into production. It is the Sasquatch, the Holy Grail, the Loch Ness Monster of guitar collecting.

I did read this a few years ago when I first started looking into the Moderne. Take it as you will.
http://www.computerweb.com/gibsonmoderne/

I am going to say I believe prototypes were made and displayed, but were later disassembled and used for parts and that there is not a surviving original copy, but I want to believe that somewhere in an attic an original version still exists.
Last edited by Oman1095 at Dec 8, 2014,
#3
Quote by monwobobbo
none has ever turned up for sale that weren't proven to be fakes.



Basically.


A few people claim to have seen or been in possession of one but nothing ever came to fruition with proving they were authentic etc....


Billy Gibbons claims to own one, but he doesn't let anybody examine the thing so there's that.
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#4
I expect there were one or two prototypes made but I don't think they ever had a production model.

There were some "reissues" made in very limited numbers at some point ('70s or '80s, I think), which could be mistaken for originals, but only because nobody has seen an actual original one to compare them to.
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#5
Quote by Blompcube
I expect there were one or two prototypes made but I don't think they ever had a production model.

There were some "reissues" made in very limited numbers at some point ('70s or '80s, I think), which could be mistaken for originals, but only because nobody has seen an actual original one to compare them to.


80s. Heritage series.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#6
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Billy Gibbons claims to own one, but he doesn't let anybody examine the thing so there's that.


Right. I've seen sources mention it and they all end up saying he's most likely full of it and the guitar is a reissue.
#7
I read it was an MIJ. A Greco or Ibanez.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#8
I had read a rumor that one went to a trade show in Germany way back when and some anecdotal quotes form employees saying one or two had been built but nothing proven. I do remember reading at one point that they used the leftover korina (flying v's and explorers were NOT selling and I've heard of V's ending up as shop window displays) to build some shelves in a back corner of the factory floor!

I would love to get my hands on one of the early 80's heritage series reissues.
#9
whats so great about these guitars?
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#10
Rarity. It's like a unicorn or something.

I bought one of the newer ones and I really like the balance, sound and whatnot. It's kind of like a best of both worlds between the features of a flying v and an explorer, but it's not a pleasant looking design to most people.
#11
The Moderne, the lost (and mythic) sibling to the Flying V and the Explorer. How is that not great? A guitar rumoured to have existed, but no one can give proof of. You have to remember people pay insane amounts to own a piece of history.

Tony Bacon (whose books you need to read if you have any interest in the history of the electric guitar) wrote that no Moderne has turned up, so it is extremely unlikely that it ever existed as anything but a blueprint. (The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Electric Guitar.)
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#12
Tom Wheeler did a rather extensive investigation back in the day for his comprehensive volume The Guitar Book. According to Wheeler, he interviewed a number of Gibson employees who were there when the Moderne, Explorer, and Flying V were created and first produced (and this was much closer in time to when they were made than the present day), and he concluded that at least two or three dozen Modernes were actually produced, and that at least half of those made their way out of the factory either through the front door or through the back door. An interview with one such Gibson employee within the last couple of years said the employee reported seeing about eight or ten of them in the factory about four or five years after the Moderne was officially dropped, and they were cannibalized for parts for other guitars. Evidently, some of them were actually built as production models. What happened to them is a mystery that still plagues us.

The Billy Gibbons Moderne story has been going around for a long time. The "allegedly" genuine Moderne appeared in a promotional picture in which Gibbons was sitting in a convertible Hot Rod with about half a dozen guitars in the back seat. The guitar in question is definitely a Moderne, but as others have stated, he has steadfastly refused to allow anyone to examine the guitar, or even to take a good photograph of it, so most people remain very skeptical of its authenticity.

Even Tom Wheeler concluded that no authenticated Gibson Moderne has ever turned up, despite his belief that at least a few of them were released. He concluded his entry on the guitar by asking "Where are those Modernes?" At this late date, we will probably never know for sure.
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Last edited by FatalGear41 at Dec 9, 2014,
#13
Quote by HomerSGR
Tony Bacon (whose books you need to read if you have any interest in the history of the electric guitar) wrote that no Moderne has turned up, so it is extremely unlikely that it ever existed as anything but a blueprint. (The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Electric Guitar.)


Quote by FatalGear41
Tom Wheeler did a rather extensive investigation back in the day for his comprehensive volume The Guitar Book.


Thanks for the sources, definitely going to read them. I've also heard that ones that supposedly made it to trade shows could have easily been confused with Futuras and Flying V's by people who had no idea what they were seeing at the time. Some at the shows have said there was a Moderne, some have said there were only Futaras and V's.