Gibson already had two very successful unorthodox looking guitars in 1982 – the much – emulated Flying V and Explorer, which are considered the benchmark for odd shaped guitars to this day. Â Which is why the unusual Corvus, launched in 1982 to little fanfare, so prompted the question â€œWhat were Gibson thinking?â€
No-one really seems to know the answer to this question, and even at the time one imagines several Gibson workers were probably mystified.
No guitar had ever attempted a shape like this before, and with hindsight it seems fairly safe to assume why. No-one was prepared for the sheer madness, or possibly ugliness of the design, which drew numerous comparisons to a tin opener, although this is presumably not the effect Gibson was aiming for!
The guitar, quite apart from the unusual shape, was a perfectly normal guitar with single-coil or humbucking pickups and tune-o-matic bridge, although a bolt-on neck, unusual for Gibson, who usually utilised set necks. Finishes included classic TV yellow, white, natural wood and a particularly vibrant orange. There were three models, the Corvus I, II and III (depending on the number of pickups).
The Corvus (Latin-speakers may know this is a Latin word meaning crow, which is maybe what Gibson were trying to emulate with this shockingly unconventional design) was a complete failure for the company and was withdrawn, having sold barely any units, in 1984.
However, the Corvus has gained a small cult following after its demise, so they arenâ€™t as reviled now as they were.
If you do find one, youâ€™d certainly be the only person on your street with one!