Guitar of the Month 2010
November - 1968 Gibson Reverse Series Firebird I and GA-15RVT Explorer Amp
In 1966, Tony Acuri competed in the Allegheny Guitar and Accordion Contest. The young guitarist didn’t place and was quite dejected, but there was a silver lining to the defeat. “My dad said if I won first place overall in 1967, he would buy me any guitar I wanted,” remembers Acuri. “I spent a whole year practicing ‘Malagueña’ and lo and behold, I won the 1967 competition. So the next time I was at my guitar teacher’s studio, I went through his catalogs to pick out a guitar, and I came across Gibson’s Firebird. The only reason I wanted it was because of the cool emblem on the pickguard!”
Acuri’s father put the order in and was charged $291.50—including a hardshell case and a $50 up-charge for the custom left-handed setup (shown on the receipt at right). In addition to the left-handed Firebird I, he purchased a Gibson Explorer GA-15RVT amp. It took more than a year for the package to arrive because apparently back in the ’60s, the entire production line had to be stopped, shut down, and reset for a left-handed instrument. The best part of this tale is that Acuri still owns and uses both pieces of cherished gear.