KISS' legendary "Spaceman" Goes Behind the Scenes in Nashville

Longtime Epiphone Signature Artist Tommy Thayer of KISS made a surprise visit to Epiphone's headquarters in Nashville to thank the staff for their hard work in creating Thayer's latest design, the Ltd. Ed. Tommy Thayer White Lightning Explorer Outfit.

"The reception for the Explorer--in fact for all of my Epiphone Signature models--has been fantastic," said Thayer. "I get compliments from all around the world. They sound amazing--they look amazing. They are just incredible instruments. I'm not sure photos can quite capture how great the Custom Metallic White finish looks. It's still a thrill for me when I open the case. And they are really selling, too! I'm so proud to be a part of Epiphone."

Thayer visited with members from Epiphone design and international sales teams and took an extensive tour through Epi's modern warehouse where every instrument at every price level is inspected, played, set-up, and tuned before being shipped to authorized dealers. "Nothing goes out into the world until our staff makes sure that the pickups, the knobs, the finish--everything is exactly to specifications," Epiphone's Quality Control Supervisor Marty Burns explained to Thayer. Thayer was impressed by the staff's attention to detail and recalled buying his first Epiphone while still in his teens.

"One of my first guitars was a used Epiphone Texan--a 1964--that my Mom got for me in the 70s," recalled Thayer. "When I was a kid, there were a couple shops in downtown Portland where we went. One of them was called Apple Music, which was a good shop. Another was American Music, which was in Vancouver, just across the river. They were cool because they were more Mom & Pop kinds of shops. They were more selective. I remember seeing all the guitars on the wall--the Les Pauls especially--I just couldn't imagine owning one some day. They seemed so elusive. Those are the guitars I had seen in concerts or in magazines that all the great guitarists were playing. I couldn't imagine that one day I'd have my own Signature Les Paul and Explorer. This has been really fun. Let's do it again!

Dr. Epiphone then treated Thayer to a guided tour of the Epiphone Showroom, which features not only every Epi currently in production but our collection of priceless vintage guitars and banjos dating back to the earliest days of the House of Stathopoulo through the early 1950s. Thayer jammed out on classics by The Beatles, KISS, and Neil Young while also checking out several vintage archtops ("Man the resonance on these is incredible") as well as the new Masterbilt Century Collection and even the Stagebird™ 6-String Electric Banjo.

Visit your Authorized Epiphone Dealer today to check out the Ltd. Ed. Tommy Thayer "White Lightning" Explorer Outfit. Also be sure to read our recent interview with Tommy Thayer for an inside look at the making of his Signature Explorer which features the classic Explorer body in a Custom Metallic White finish plus Seymour Duncan® JB™ Humbuckers chosen by Thayer, Grover® Rotomatic machine heads, and a custom hard case. Visit the KISS website for the band's tour schedule and for more on what goes on behind the scenes at the modern House of Stathopoulo, read our classic interviews with Will Jones, a.k.a Dr. Epiphone, Marty Burns, Director of Epiphone's Quality Control and Richard Akers, supervisor of Epiphone's Research and Design Team