Keith Richards’ 1962 Epiphone Casino

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Keith likely purchased this guitar just prior to the band’s first US tour that started on June 1st, 1964. It first appeared on Hollywood Palace with Dean Martin on June 3rd, 1964. 

The model was built at the old Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, long before Epiphone became mainly a budget Gibson line. It featured a thin-line hollow laminated maple body, trapeze-type tailpiece, and two Gibson P-90 pickups.

The Rolling Stones with Dean Martin on Hollywood Palace June 3rd, 1964.

The guitar was Keith main axe during the band’s first US tour, and it was used on the sessions at the Chess Studios in Chicago [Rolling Stones at the Chess Studios] where the band recorded a good part of their second album “12 X 5”. Keith continued using it up until late 1965 as a back-up guitar for his Gibson Les Paul Standard – the two being most likely the only electric guitars he used during the studio sessions up until that point.

It was last used in studio in early September 1965 [Keith Richards, RCA Studios, September 6-7, 1965], when the band recorded I’m Free, The Singer Not the Song, and Gotta Get Away, all of which ended up on Stones’ fifth American studio album December’s Children (And Everybody’s).

The guitar seems to have disappeared around the same time as when Keith was electrocuted on stage at Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium on December 3rd, 1965 [Keith Richards: ‘My Most Spectacular Moment Was In Sacramento’]. It is highly possible that he used this guitar to play the gig, which would explain it’s disappearance from all the following shows. This is however just a guess, so take it with a grain of salt.

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