In a Grammy Awards show noteworthy for the absence of guitars in the hands of most of today's top musical artists, Paul McCartney's appearance with his famous Epiphone Texan acoustic was a highlight of the night for guitar fans.

In his pre-taped acceptance of the Grammys' President's Award for the Beatles last night (2/8), McCartney sat in a roomful of recording equipment, holding his 1964 Texan in his familiar left-handed "upside down" playing position. "This is the guitar I played on the Ed Sullivan show," he said, strumming a quick G-C-G chord progression. Then he delivered a whimsical rendition of the first two lines of "Yesterday."

That particular guitar's first appearance on TV was also a McCartney solo - his memorable performance of "Yesterday" on the Ed Sullivan show on Aug. 14, 1965. The guitar, serial number 194959, was officially a model FT-79N (N for natural finish), that had left the Gibson factory on May 23, 1964. McCartney bought it in New York in 1965. List price at the time was $175, and the case was extra.

The Beatles were responsible for another "star guitar" on the Grammy telecast - the sunburst Epiphone Casino that Vince Gill played in a Beatles tribute number with Sting and Dave Matthews. As Beatles fans know, Lennon’s Casino originally had a sunburst finish (like the ones McCartney and George Harrison also bought), and he later scraped it down to a “natural” finish.

The era of the Beatles, the 1960s, also spawned the most interesting Gibson on the show, played by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. As Grohl traded licks with jazz pianist Chick Corea in their performance of "Times Like These," Gibson aficionados would have recognized the classic double-cutaway thinbody design of a Gibson ES-335, but they might have been confused by the headstock, which had all the tuners on one side. There's only one Gibson with those features - the Trini Lopez Standard, one of two signature guitars designed by the folk-pop singer and offered by Gibson from 1964-70.

Epiphone currently offers the Elitist '65 Texan, and the Casino in regular production as well as the Elitist Casino, plus two versions of the John Lennon: the 1965 Casino (sunburst) and the Revolution Casino (natural).