“I'm still slammed with orders. Each B-Bender is made with care and love, just like I did with the first one for Clarence White”: How Gene Parsons reinvented electric guitar playing with the B-Bender

Gene Parsons and the B-Bender
(Image credit: Courtesy of Gene Parsons / Future)

Given his reputation as a mad scientist within the guitar world, it's funny to think that Gene Parsons – the co-inventor of the B-Bender – was actually a drummer by trade.

Of course, Parsons – a member of the Byrds from 1968-1972 and, later, the Flying Burrito Brothers – always harbored an interest in the guitar. Why else would he move to assemble seemingly arbitrary parts (to a non-believer) into a contraption that would change the face of country music and its adjacent genres forever?

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.