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Billy Corgan - Gibson Firebird V "Medallion Version" (1972)

Billy playing a Firebird in Montreal
Billy playing a Gibson Firebird in Montreal on 2012/10/28

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The Gibson Firebird was an electric guitar designed in 1963, resembling a "reverse" Jaguar, i.e. the treble horn is longer than the other, and the headstock is flipped, with tuning pegs on the bottom (treble) edge. Firebirds without this shape-reversal are referred to as "non-reverse." It is the first Gibson model to feature a neck-through design, i.e. the neck extends to the tail of the body, rather than being attached as a separate piece. An illustration of a flaming bird is on the pick guard next to the pickup switch, as well as on the tailpiece for some models that include a tremolo system.

This particular Gibson Firebird V that Billy is playing is one from 1972, easily identified by the medallion on the upper bout. The medallion version of this guitar was part of a limited run of 366 of these Firebirds made in 1972 by Gibson. These were produced to commemorate the return to the original Firebird design, as Gibson had modified the design of the Firebird after its initial introduction in 1963 due to offset body patent complaints by Fender.
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Billy was photographed playing a Firebird during Song for a Son in Montreal on 2012/10/28, on the Oceania tour.

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