1962 Gibson RB-250 banjo with FON of 100698, formerly owned by Gene Parsons of the Byrds. Information pulled from Julien’s Auctions. Text read as
A 1962 Gibson RB-250 five-string banjo commonly called a “Bowtie” banjo, owned and played by Gene Parsons of The Byrds. The banjo has a “Flat Head Tone Ring,” which was given by Earl Scruggs. It also has a pair of original “Scruggs Pegs” and the very first experimental strap-actuated StringBender ever installed on a banjo. The neck has been repaired. Serial number 100698. Comes with a letter of authenticity from Parsons and a hardshell case.
The following is in the letter accompanying the banjo:
- Prior to Gene Parsons’ ownership, it belonged to Bob Watford when he played with the Kentucky Colonels. He also played it with Marty Robbins, Bill Monroe, and Rick Nelson.
- Parsons bought from Watford in 1965/6
- Parsons went to Earl Scruggs around that time and got a flathead tone ring for it. Parsons kept the archtop ring.
- Parsons played the banjo on records by the Byrds, the Everly Brothers, and solo album “Kindling”
- Parsons played the banjo in the Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall
- Banjo has a rare pair of original Scruggs Pegs on it
- Banjo has the first experimental Strat actuated StringBender ever installed on a banjo
- Neck was broken during a crash.
- Clarence White said one of the best Gibson banjos he’d ever heard after the tone ring was switched out for a flathead.