In a move echoing the desires of many guitar enthusiasts, Epiphone is set to adopt the iconic Gibson headstock for certain models, marking a departure from the familiar non-Gibson headstock design associated with affordability. The decision, welcomed by players seeking a change, is a noteworthy evolution for Epiphone Les Pauls and SGs.
However, not every Epiphone model will undergo this transformation. The inaugural recipient of the iconic open-book Gibson headstock will be the recreation of “Greeny,” the 1959 Les Paul famously owned by Peter Green and currently in the possession of Kirk Hammett. Gibson’s product Vice President, Mat Koehler, announced that “forthcoming Inspired by Gibson Custom Shop-level Epiphone models will also feature the open-book Gibson headstock shape.” This implies a premium cost for the coveted headstock, yet the guitars at this level have been enhanced with notable specifications, offering players a substantial upgrade.
Gibson’s historically guarded approach to its headstock shape adds significance to this shift. Notably, in 2020, the Inspired By… range introduced a subtly more Gibson-inspired Kalamazoo headstock design. As new guitars adorned with the Gibson headstock steadily rise in price, it raises speculation about whether higher-end Epiphones, boasting the “right” headstocks, are strategically positioning themselves in the mid-priced niche.
In other guitar news, a historic auction took place where Eric Clapton’s iconic “The Fool SG” fetched an astonishing $1.27 million, marking the guitarist’s first foray into the seven-figure territory. Originating from Clapton’s Cream era, the guitar played a prominent role in many of Cream’s recordings, particularly during the “Disraeli Gears” era. Named after the Dutch art collective responsible for its psychedelic paint job, the guitar stands as a vibrant symbol of the technicolour style prevalent during that era. The record-breaking auction highlights the enduring allure of guitars with rich musical histories.