Monday night (January 10), Tool played their first show in almost two years, headlining the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon.
While fans were undoubtedly thrilled by the show's setlist surprises (Pushit – the album version, mind you – was performed live for the first (opens in new tab) time since 2014, while Right in Two received its first live airing since 2011), another aspect of the show that quickly sparked the rumor mill was one of the electric guitars Adam Jones used over the course of the evening.
For the band's closer, Invincible, Jones can clearly be seen in the video above – courtesy of YouTuber JJG (opens in new tab) – playing some sort of Flying V, with a split headstock no less.
The guitar sure ain't the recently-released, V2 version of Jones' 1979 Les Paul Custom, and it's a far cry from the “backup crappy gear" Jones is said to have used during Tool's recent pre-tour rehearsal livestream, so could it potentially be the prototype of an Adam Jones signature Gibson Flying V?
Now, this isn't the first time the Adam Jones signature V rumor mill fires have been stoked. Jones and Gibson themselves seemed to tease (opens in new tab) the possibility in November 2020, sneaking a post-credits shot of a Silverburst Flying V into the YouTube video announcing the Tool guitarist's signature Les Paul.
Rumors of a Jones V also percolated in March and August of last year via Instagram posts in which Jones, respectively, played a V (opens in new tab) and photographed (opens in new tab) a trio of V-friendly Gibson guitar cases.
Given that we only have fan-shot footage of the guitar Jones used onstage with Tool as of right now, it's difficult to make definitive calls on any of the model's specifications, but one thing that immediately stands out is the V's split headstock.
First seen (opens in new tab) all the way back in 1957 on Gibson's proto-Explorer Futura design, the split (or "forked") headstock look has made occasional appearances on Custom Shop Flying Vs, but is completely absent (opens in new tab) from the company's current V line.
A forked headstock would make the theoretical Adam Jones Flying V perhaps even more valuable and ultra-collectible than the Tool guitarist's signature Les Paul has already proven to be.
What's more, Jones' onstage V tease happens to come just days after Metallica's Kirk Hammett teased a new signature Gibson Flying V of his own on Instagram.
All this has us wondering if 2022 will prove to be the year of the V...