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account of a real 1950s Moderne?

Tom Wittrock

Les Paul Forum Co-Owner
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
42,567
Dan Erlewine has written his own experience with what he thinks was a Moderne. It is in this Forum somewhere still, I believe. :)
 

vintage58

Active member
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
3,943
Yep, I remember reading what Dan had written about his own run-in with a Moderne. I do think that these guitars exist, it's a shame that they're not more well documented.
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vintage58

Active member
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
3,943
I love Modernes! I wish Gibson would reissue/make them now.
Yes, it's a very cool and original design. Here are a couple of 1980s Heritage series reissues of mine.... the upper one, I still have; whereas I no longer own the lower one:
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Brown Recluse

Active member
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
1,095
It's an intriguing story, however, his references to the Gibson tweed cases sound rather strange.
 

GtrJoe

New member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
91
I noticed three interesting things about the article. The reference to a tweed case. Did Gibson have tweed cases? I associate these with Fenders. The medium light brown color of the instrument. I have 2 Korina guitars, including a Moderne, and would not describe Korina as medium light brown. Is it possible the prototypes were made out of mahogany. Not unheard of, from Gibson. Finally, the balance issue. I don't notice this with my Moderne. Others can chime in with their experiences. Then again, the reissue Moderne is a very thick bodied guitar. Who knows? Interesting to have these stories pop up, keeping the story alive. My personal theory is that the Moderne is alive and well, sharing a beer with Bigfoot and Nessie and having a good laugh at our expense.
 

vintage58

Active member
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
3,943
My personal theory is that the Moderne is alive and well, sharing a beer with Bigfoot and Nessie and having a good laugh at our expense.
Actually, here's an exceedingly rare photo of a Bigfoot carrying one (presumably on his way to an outdoor jam session):
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Breakfastime

New member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
535
Actually, here's an exceedingly rare photo of a Bigfoot carrying one (presumably on his way to an outdoor jam session):
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You'd think if a guy like that came into your store and bought such a weird looking guitar, you'd remember it. But it was a long time ago.
 

j45

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Jun 14, 2002
Messages
9,081
Has there EVER been a myth that didn't have the usual trail of "real" eyewitness accounts?
 

vintage58

Active member
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Apr 13, 2003
Messages
3,943
Has there EVER been a myth that didn't have the usual trail of eyewitness accounts?
Granted. But in the case of the Moderne, when one of said accounts happens to come from someone as authoritative as Dan Erlewine (click here to read), things certainly become more believable.
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j45

New member
Joined
Jun 14, 2002
Messages
9,081
Granted. But in the case of the Moderne, when one of said accounts happens to come from someone as authoritative as Dan Erlewine (click here to read), things certainly become more believable.
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I know, I read that a while back. I know from my own memory I've shifted, blended, merged, filtered, and superimposed details that morphed into an entirely different account of what really was. Two of my own guitars from the 70's turned out to be very different versions of what my memory had constructed over the years once actual photos surfaced. I don't believe for one second Dan Erliwine would falsify such a claim. I've just heard way too many stories told in honesty with great confidence that turned out to be a combination of vague memory plus details that were subconsciously filled in over the years that built an account that proved entirely different from reality.
 

burstman59

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Mar 10, 2002
Messages
1,753
I do believe one part of the story to be plausible. Gibson did indeed blow out some unwanted or unpopular stock to some of its dealers around this time frame. There was a combination music/jewelry and pawn shop store in Indianapolis, IN at the time called Sacs Bros. they were a Gibson dealer. I know that the 58/63 Explorer I owned in the 80s was bought there new in 63 by the original owner I bought it from. Several other known Explorers were bought there at the time along with at least 3 Korina flying Vs. A guy I spoke to said Gibson dumped alot of stuff through out the 60s to them. He said one of the owners let him go in the backroom and there were things like 12 string melody makers still wrapped in tissue paper. A guy I worked with back in the 90s told me his brother had bought an original Flying V from them and didnt even get a case. He would drag the guitar around in the backseat of his car and even put it in the trunk once in a while. geez anyway back to the story of the Moderne some people believe they never existed only on paper. I'm not saying there werent any built but some people might be remembering the Futura thinking it was the Moderne. Like someone mentioned human memories can fade or get turned around over time.
 

Average Joe

New member
Joined
Mar 19, 2003
Messages
241
While I have nothing but the greatest respect for DE, , my gut feeling is that one of the originals would have surfaced by now, if the instruments were indeed out there. The more time passes with such hard evidence, the more I feel that I must consider them an urban myth rather than reality.
 

bobgourami

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
63
Hi guys, I don't post on here much but thought I'd pass on a story I heard in the shop a few weeks ago.

A guy started chatting to me about possibly buying a guitar and that he used to be a bass player. He said that he'd been in bands and had an old EB3. I told him that I'm into old Gibsons and he said that the guitarist in his old band had had quite a few. My interest was piqued when he said that after they were signed in '69ish the guitarist had bought what he described as a Gibson "modernist" in a shop in London. I asked for more info but beyond saying it was an odd shape, he didn't give any more details and he's not returned to the shop, so unfortunately i've been unable to question him more on the subject. He did say however that there may be some pictures about as his band had been reasonably high profile in the period.

His band were called T2 and the guitarist was Keith Cross. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T2_(band) I've only found a little info and no pictures of this "modernist"

I know it's virtually impossible that the guitar was a moderne. Any thoughts?
 

wernerg

Active member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
734
Actually, here's an exceedingly rare photo of a Bigfoot carrying one (presumably on his way to an outdoor jam session):
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StreamImage.aspx

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that's not Bigfoot - it's Billy Gibbons on Halloween. It is a known fact that he owns the original Moderne!
 
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