The Jimi Hendrix "Love Drops" Flying V
(Refinished black by Mick Cox)
The most famous 1967 Gibson Flying V is the one that Jimi Hendrix painted with his psychedelic "Love Drops" paint job. The original factory finish was actually sunburst, not black. Many articles over the years have mentioned that the guitar was actually black. This is dead-wrong. No known black Flying Vs were shipped by Gibson in the late 1960s except the famous left-handed Flying V Custom that Hendrix had made by Gibson in 1969.
Notice the side of the V in the first picture below. The side color is walnut brown (sometimes called translucent brown) with visible dark wood grain. Walnut brown was the color used on the sides and backs of all sunburst Flying Vs. Also, notice the two red arrows in the second picture below. They are pointing to the original amber color which was used on the top of all sunburst Vs. This proves beyond any doubt that the Jimi Hendrix "Love Drops" V was actually sunburst, not black.
© Dave Brewis/Rockstarguitars.com
Pictured below is the Hendrix Flying V with the "restored" psychedelic paint job called "Love Drops". Hendrix gave the V to Mick Cox before he died. After his death, Mick Cox had the psychedelic paint job removed and had it painted black. He eventually sold it. Can you imagine what that guitar would be worth if the Hendrix art work was still intact ? It would be the most valuable guitar in the world !!!!!!! The provenance and pedigree of the V were essentially lost after Mick Cox sold it. It changed hands several times without the owners knowing its pedigree.
The V eventually showed up at a pawn shop in England in 1995 and was sold at that time. The buyer, David Brewis, took the pickguard off and noticed traces of psychedelic colored paint in the control cavity and started wondering if this was the famous Hendrix V. He also noticed that the guitar had been strung for a left handed player....the nut string guides had been widened. Soon after that, some of the dot inlay fret markers on the V were matched to some old photographs of Hendrix playing the V by representatives of Gibson and Sotheby's Auction House. At that point, the guitar was authenticated as the "one and only" Hendrix Love Drops V. The owner, David Brewis, had the guitar restored with a second "Love Drops" paint job as shown below. It was later sold to a private collector in 2003. All traces of the original sunburst finish were destroyed during the restoration. In 2007 Gibson built 300 Hendrix Love Drop Reissues Flying Vs.