Mastodon & the tale of the lost Silverburst

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The story of my small part in reuniting Mastodon’s Brent Hinds with his beloved 70′s silverburst Flying V…

Being a guitar nerd, 90% of my waking hours are spent looking at guitars, thinking about guitars, talking about guitars and sometimes even playing guitars. I spend a lot of time on guitar forums, talking with other guitar tragics. This particular day I was on the Gibson Flying V forum, as I’m a big Flying V fan… especially silverbursts.

One thread in particular caught my eye… ‘Scandinavian Silverburst V for sale’ which had some photo’s of the guitar, plus this info “…Looked at the busy salesman thought something no so nice about him. Parked the guitar and started to photograph it. My 13 year old daughter said the salesman looked very nervous oberserving me doing that. Is there someone out there who misses his silverburst?

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This is the photo that got me a bit suspicious…

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A 70′s  silverburst V in Scandinavia with the serial number scrubbed off? It had obviously been stolen. Something about that sounded familiar. Then I remembered an article I’d read in a metal magazine ages ago. The magazine was interviewing Mastodon, who are pretty much my favourite metal band. They were talking about past European tours and Brent Hinds the guitarist was mentioning how he hates playing Scandinavia now as some bastard stole his favourite silverburst flying V backstage at a gig in Odense in 2003. He’d since bought another silverburst V plus bought a custom shop Gibson V, but he reckoned that original one was magic.

I was thinking the number of stolen 70′s silverburst V’s in Scandinavia would be exactly 1… so there was an excellent chance this was Brent’s axe. So I posted…“I’m pretty sure Brent Hinds from Mastodon had his original Silverburst Flying V stolen on a European tour. This may be it…”

The original poster (Mortenpmb) agreed with me and so emailed the photo’s he had taken to Mastodon’s management. They said the serial number matched with the guitar Brent had stolen. So Mortenpmb called the local police and explained the deal. Straight away one of the cops (obviously a Mastodon fan) went to the store and confiscated the guitar before the dodgy dealer could get rid of it. They then did some research and agreed this guitar was the one stolen from Brent.

A few weeks later Mortenpmb personally hand delivered the axe to Brent at Valby Hallen, Copenhagen, DK on the Unholy Alliance Tour w/Slayer and Trivium. Brent looked pretty stoked!

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“The setup, tuning and choice of strings was perfect so Brent immediately took it to the stage for testing. 30 minutes to silence and opening of the doors to the public. To me it was a privilege to stand there next to him and watch absolute international class and originality. This man is a true musician at heart. Trust me, HE IS REALLY GOOD.

Brent Hinds plays in 3 different tunings.

When the turn came to D he played his ’79 Silverburst in front of an audience for the first time in 5 years.”

Congrats to Mortenpmb on his awesome work!

Oh yeah, the sunburst Les Paul in the first photo also got stolen as well, so if you’re in Denmark and see it for sale, let Mastodon know…