A Vintage Moog Guitar? Looking Closer At The Gibson RD Series 

Picture this if you will: the year is 1978 and you are sixteen years old with a summer job’s worth of savings in your pocket. You love heavy metal like your dope-smoking older brother but you’re also getting into the new sounds from that Devo record you heard a few weeks ago. You walk into the local music store looking for something to impress the chicks at school — what is catching your eye, a shiny new Les Paul, or the cluster of keys and knobs on a new synthesizer?

It’s like a Firebird ate a little too much acid.
What does this button do? Our 1977 Gibson RD Custom knows how to look good.
Gibson could solve the oil crisis but Jimmy Carter couldn’t build a Les Paul.
Business in the front, party in the back.

Though admittedly strange, the Gibson RD guitars and basses have a vibe all their own and are unique both in the brand’s product range and 70s guitar production at large. The maple construction, though heavy, produces a noticeably Fender-like spank particularly when paired with the active electronics, which will make the patent stamp humbuckers sound anywhere from small and insignificant to thick and wooly. Controversy aside, the RD can still be spied on stages, notably by the 2/3 of Nirvana that aren’t named Cobain — Mr. Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic have both been spotted using these rare birds. Perhaps they were a little ahead of their time, as offset shapes now head back into fashion and modern onboard electronics by companies like EMG and Music Man become ubiquitous. Just like every other innovation, there has to be a Tesla before there’s an Edison to rip them off. 

(P.S. — It’s pronounced “Moog.”)

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