Happy Birthday to longtime Epi fan and guitar wizard Duke Robillard. John Lennon once said that if you had to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry. With that in mind, if Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" walked the Earth today, you might know him as Duke Robillard. For fans of all American music styles, Duke is a national treasure and a vital example of how the roots of jazz, bop, swing, rock and roll, blues, and country can be endlessly challenging and renewing in the right hands.
Born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island in 1948, Duke grew up in a family that loved music ("Hank Williams and Bob Wills") but it was his brother that was originally drawn to guitar. That all changed when Duke heard Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill."
"I remember hearing that intro and then the guitar and the bass came in with that riff," Duke told Epiphone "And that riff just hit me in a way that knocked me out. When my brother was on a date or at football practice, I'd go in his room and I'd teach myself to play guitar by listening to the records".
Read our classic interview with Duke and check out a couple of his favorite Epiphones, the Casino and the Sheraton PRO II. Happy Birthday, Duke!