1974 was an eventful year for Paul and his guitars and here appears the first real mystery in the story. This white Flying V guitar first shows up in September and it was probably aquired because the LoBue V was stolen during the Hotter Than Hell recording sessions: "Paul's guitar was stolen on the first day of recording." (Kenny Wise, Nothin' to lose
, p. 360 of the eBook) "I took it to Los Angeles to record the second album Hotter Than Hell
, and it was stolen out of the recording studio." (Guitars that Rule the World in Metal Edge presents KISS Alive 1996
) The first hard evidence I found about this guitar comes from Norwegian fan Ketil Nicolaysen
who has asked Paul about this white V. Paul's response: "It was a Flying V knock-off by a guitar maker in New Jersey. I needed a replacement for a V and they only had a white one."
A quick word on the timeline here. There are some photos online that are wrongly dated as Anchorage, AK 1974-06-02
that show this White V. The V isn't present for either the May 31 show in Long Beach, CA nor in San Fransisco, CA on June 1. In fact, in a number of photos from May 31 one can see Ace and Paul's backup guitars stage right and there isn't a V in sight. In those misdated photos Paul also wear a belt that didn't debut until after the Hotter Than Hell
photo shoots in August. The photos sometimes labeled as Anchorage, AK are actually from East Lansing, MI on October 21. After Paul had his LoBue V stolen, probably in August, he briefly played the Dan Armstrong seen below and only then did he find this V.
I am indebted to Rik L. Schwinden
of KISS tribute band Kissin' Time
who ran into a luthier called Kenny Rardin in the early 80's and found out that he was the one who had found Paul's beloved Firebird. I've since been lucky enough to have Kenny answer some questions via Facebook.