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Metal Sludge’s Top 11 Flying V Guitarists of All-Time!

Metal Sludge’s Top 11 Flying V Guitarists of All-Time!


The Flying V


Metal Sludge’s Top 11 Flying V Guitarists of All-Time!

Posted By: Metal Sludge

What’s in a guitar? Hmm, good question. We’re guessing some wood, some electronics and of course design. Gibson and Fender are the two most popular guitar brands globally. But over the last few decades guitar companies have sprung up everywhere. Many have created their own specific body design over the years to try and set them self apart from the pack. But aside from the standard Les Paul and Stratocaster cuts, no design has had a bigger impact than the Flying V.

The V has been altered by many comapnies, to give it their own flare. But they all stay true to the V shaped body. It’s usually a matter of how long or short the ‘fins’ are, or how sharp or rounded the points are. So we at Metal Sludge decided to put together our list of the Top 11 Flying V Rock Guitarists of All-Time. We got guys from metal bands, rock bands and glam bands. We have a true legend from the past, a fallen 80s comrade and rock stars from today all who use the Flying V.

Enjoy Metal Sludge’s Top 11 Flying V Guitarists of All-Time.



Buckethead is # 11

11. Buckethead

How could Buckethead not make the list. Of course he does. The bucket is a serious and prolific writer as well. According to his Wikipedia he has released 40 solo albums. He has also performed with countless respected artists for years, from all styles of music. Add to this, he was even in Guns N’ Roses for a time replacing the legendary Slash.

Check out Buckethead with his KFC striped flying V above. This guy is a one man show. Add KFC bucket, mask, rain slick and aside from his shredding guitar solos – he is also known to do a nunchucku solo on stage. That’s right folks and don’t forget his robot dance either. Check all of it out on YouTube



Doug Marks is # 10 

10. Doug Marks of Hawk 

Who could forget those Metal Method advertisements in all the magazines. You could not escape them. And you also could not escape Doug Marks. He always had a aqua net covered mane of blond hair, a rock star pose and of course – a Flying V. Doug also had a band in Hollywood called HAWK back in the day which was the breeding ground for a few future rock stars. Drummer Scott Travis went on to join Racer X and eventually Judas Priest while Bassist Lonnie Vencent joined Bulletboys. The band ended, but Doug churned out a HAWK record anyway. Doug claimed it was more of a ‘solo’ recording. Matt Sorum ended up playing on that release before he landed in The Cult & Guns N’ Roses.

Thirty years later and Doug Marks is still active with Metal Method.



CC DeVille rocking a rainbow flame Flying V is # 9

9. CC DeVille of Poison

The Glam Slam Kings of Noise have sure made their mark. Poison was once a local Hollywood hairband that many said couldn’t play their way out of a wet paper bag muchless into an arena. Well the critics ate those words and in 2012 Poison ranks in the top tier of 80s bands still selling tickets.

If there were a true musical talent in the group, many would pin that on guitarist CC DeVille. A Brooklyn New York native who never lost the accent, DeVille is a fast talking and fast riffing – through and through artist. Ask him any question about Led Zepplin or a Jeff Beck song and he’ll not only have the answer, but he’ll likely play it for ya HERE. DeVille has also been a fan of the Flying V. Over the years CC has always showcased a endless supply of flashy guitars, but none more than his true love for the Flying V.

Watch CC HERE as he picks up his brand new Flying V’s for the bands 2012 tour. 



Kerry King of Slayer is # 8

8. Kerry King of Slayer

Mosh or die! Sounds about right. Slayer is by many fans opinions, the heaviest band on the planet. And we don’t just mean Kerry King’s weight. At 5’6" tall he’s about the same width these days, but we’re not just talking about his gut. We’re talking metal sound. Slayer is a plethora of noise amplified by ten thousand. And much of that sound comes from the Flying V in King’s hands.

In 2012 King looks more like one of America’s Most Wanted than ever. Tons of tattoos, a shaved head, stupid horse tail style goatee and a 24 hour scowl. But don’t let that all fool ya. King and his Slayer buddies use to fag out in spandex with the rest of Hollywood just the same. See those pics HERE.



Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. is # 7

7. Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P.

Chris Holmes is as true as dirt. Nicknamed the "Madman" Chris is all that and a barrell of beer. Or bottles of liquor. Remember THIS? Chris in the swimming pool in Decline of Western Civilization Part II – The Metal Years. That is legendary stuff folks.

Chris no longer plays for W.A.S.P. and in a 2011 interview with Marshall of Rock, Chris said the following about Blackie Lawless "Blackie wants to be Elvis Presley, he wants to be the only guy. Let’s put it this way, he has an ego. He does really shitty things to everybody in the band. I’ll tell you what kind of person he is – he’s full of shit! " But regardless of the past issues with his former band, we could not leave out the man who brought "Fuck Like A Beast" to life on stage.

Chris recently released a solo recording and his video HERE for "They All Lie And Cheat" is a classic. If you haven’t seen this yet, we highly recomend it.



KK Downing is # 6

6. KK Downing of Judas Priest

KK Downing was a founding member of Judas Priest back in 1970 but in 2011, he up and left. Oddly he retired from the band, and now concentrates on golf. WTF! Yes, golf. But let’s put aside the Tiger Woods nonsense for now and remember that KK is one of the greatest Metal guitarists ever. He helped put the Priest on the map to sell over 50 million records with classics like "Breakin’ The Law", "Headin’ Out To The Highway" and the bands biggest hit "You Got Another Thing Coming,"

KK is also a old skool champion of the Flying V. Click on any photo, or video and you will usually see Glenn Tipton with a classic strat style guitar body and Mr.Downing is Flying the V. Red is a key color and he has many in black and white as well.

We’re at the half way point of our list and it’s time to stretch a bit. Maybe a little workout. Anyone wanna go "Hot Rockin’"?




Dave Mustaine of Megadeth rockin’ the double neck Flying V is # 5

5. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth

Peace sells and so do Megadeth tickets. Not at the level that Motley Crue, Van Halen or Metallica do, but Dave has done okay for himself. The black sheep of Metallica even as a grown man still is heard whimpering HERE about being ousted from the biggest band in the world all those years back. Maybe he should have called the band Megababy. Either way, Dave can play a mean riff and he does a lot of that riffing on a Flying V.

Google Mustaine and you’ll find countless pics of him with one of many different Flying V’s in hand. Dave is also one of a few guys who use a Double Neck Flying V. We place Dave at #5 of all time for the ultimate Flying V list.



Robin "King" Crosby with an original Grover Jackson King V is # 4

4. Robin Crosby of Ratt

Michael Jackson was the King of Pop and everyone coined Elvis Presley the King many years earlier. But in the 80s rock world – Robin Crosby of RATT was the King. He got his nickname from none other than Motley Crue bassist and long time friend Nikki Sixx.

At 6’5" Robin was a huge man. Add in boots and hair, and Crosby was pushing 7 feet tall. Being such a big guy, Robin had problems playing standard issue guitars. So, Grover Jackson came along and made Robin a custom King V that was fit for a King!

Sadly the King left us back in 2002, but let’s all let his legend carry on and go "Round & Round". We put the King at #4 all time for our Greatest Flying V rock guitarists.


RS_Scrops_V_2.jpg MS_V_12.jpg

The Schenker Brothers. Scorpions Rudolf & Michael of UFO are our # 3

3. The Schenker Brothers, Rudolf & Michael

German based rockers the Scorpions use to be their countries biggest rock band. For decades. But that position is now owned by Ramstein. But it’s not likely that Rudolf Schenker gives a flying V. Or a flying f#?k. The band has been around for over 40 years, and if you add up the singles, royalties and free guitars – these guys are just fine. No one from the Scorpions is playing side stages for beer money or touring in a van anymore. Those days are gone along with most of the bands hairline. However we cannot confirm or deny the same about his younger brother Michael.

Speaking of Michael, he has had his bouts with the bottle but has made the V his famed choice of axe. He played with his brothers band (Scorpions) until taking a offer to join UFO. He had reported drama where he would literally walk off stage mid song and not return. This type of turmoil ended his run in UFO. He briefly returned to his brothers group, but again alcohol ended that too. But fear not, soon enough Michael would head up his own solo group MSG! Over the years Michael has fallen on much harder times than his older brother, but much of it do to his own ‘un-doing.

Rudolf has been doing this rock stuff longer than KISS and Aerosmith, so he’s definitely paid some guitar dues. Believe it or not, the bands signature hit "Rock You Like A Hurricane" was released in 1984, a full 9 albums and 19 years after he formed the band. That is dedication and it paid off.

Rudolf’s signature models are the Dommenget "Ferrari" V and the "Scorpions" V. He is also the originator of the double neck V. Props to Rudy and he is our #3 Flying V rock guiatarist of all time.

Michael’s main guitar for much of his career was a Gibson Flying V.  In 2007 Dean Guitars, after producing a signature Schenker Dean V, also made two acoustic models with the familiar black and white "V" design.






Vinnie Vincent solo & in KISS is # 2

2. Vinnie Vincent of Vinnie Vincent Invasion Vinnie Vincent is one of the worlds most well known guitar players. Oddly, in many ways it is for a lof of the wrong reasons. First he got to join KISS. Which many guys would cut off their balls for. Secondly he got booted from KISS the same. And Vinnie has sued, and been sued by the band (he was once part of) more times than most people have kids. Or dogs. Or dead dogs. You may be asking, who has dead dogs? Well, ask Vinnie. Last year he was arrested and the cops found boxes of dead dogs in his kitchen. Read about that craziness HERE. But let’s move on.

Vinnie Vinncent has a V in his first and last name and he’s one of the world’s most famous guitarists, who used a Flying V. He was also one of the very first to have a ‘concorde’ issue Flying V behind our #1. Vinnie shows off his skills, and his cool custom V in his solo bands debut hit single "Boyz Are Gonna Rock" Turn it up, and hide the dogs!




Randy Rhoads is # 1 with his Concorde Flying V

1. Randy Rhoads of Ozzy Osbourne

Jackson Guitars originated in 1980 when guitarist Randy Rhoads approached Charvel with an idea for an individualized guitar. The collaborative design effort between Rhoads, Grover Jackson and associates resulted in the creation of the Concorde, an innovative revamp of the traditional Flying V.

Randy and his playing has influenced a huge amount of the worlds guitar players over the last 30 years. A recent tribute by Frank Hannon of Tesla was uploaded online. It’s a cool clip showing Frank at Randy’s old teaching school. It includes footage with Randy’s brother Kelly, and his mother Delores as well. It’s a great clip. Check it out HERE.

Rhoads was tragically killed in a airplane crash while on tour with Ozzy Osbounre in March 1982. Since his death Rhoads has become a legend in the guitar world. Despite his youth and limited recorded work, he is still considered to be one of the greatest guitarists of all time and recognized by countless other famous guitarists.

Ironically Randy Rhoads’ birthday is today. Randy was born on December 6th 1956.

In his honor, we list Randy Rhoads as the #1 Flying V Guitarist of All-Time.

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