Ted Nugent’s 1962 Gibson Byrdland electric hollowbody was recently profiled on Vintage Guitar’s website, as part of the magazine’s “Classic Instruments” series. The article describes the Byrdland as “unique among Gibson electric guitars.”

“Designed with the input of guitarists Billy Byrd and Hank Garland (the name is derived from their surnames), it was introduced in the mid 1950s as one of the company’s first ‘thinline’ hollowbody models,” notes the writer. “Its 23 1/2″ scale is also unusual, being more typical of a student guitar than a professional instrument.


“Standard Byrdlands were originally available with P-90 pickups, and acquired humbuckers in the late ’50s. Stock finishes were sunburst and natural, and Gibson made the model with Venetian (rounded) and Florentine (pointed) cutaways, as well as spruce or maple tops.”

After noting that Nugent has owned his Byrdland since his days with the Amboy Dukes—a fact reflected by the instrument’s bruised finish—the writer goes on recount an anecdote from the rocker’s guitar tech, Dean Mitchell.

“I was looking at the wear on it …” said Mitchell, “and I asked Ted if he wanted me to sand it down and put a little lacquer on there. He told me if I touched it, he’d shoot me. He wants it to be like Willie Nelson’s acoustic!”