Virtually every great artist of the 20th century at one time or another played an Epiphone during their recording and stage career. Nothing matters more to a working musician than a "good guitar," as Les Paul referred to Epi's long history and the House of Stathopoulo has always come through with the goods.
But of all the great artists who took up Epiphones--including Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, John Lee Hooker, Radiohead, The Beatles, Paul Weller, Oasis, and Les Paul himself, only the Rolling Stones have managed to keep an aura of mystique for half a century. Maybe it's their long history, their ever changing sound, or the ongoing brotherly feud and tense peace between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones are truly a group--it doesn't matter what guitar or amplifier they play through--it all happens together
or not at all.
You can see (and judge for yourself) how the band has changed when you compare the modern Stones to this great clip of Keith and his Casino
kicking of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away." But you can read about what's really going on behind the scenes today on the eve of what surely will be their last tour in a great new profile by Mikal Gilmore in Rolling Stone
"Why do the Rolling Stones endure? I always say, because they're successful," Mick Jagger tells Rolling Stone
"I do think our sort of longevity, standing up for being long-lived, rather than being any good – I'm not saying we're not any good – but that longevity adds an extra sort of layer to the appeal. Adding a patina to the piece of old furniture," continues Jagger. "Because you've been around for 50 years, it does add this kind of . . . this luminosity, if you want. But in some ways, it's a kind of a disadvantage, because then you're tempted to rely on it, you know?"
Ticket sales have been slow and there are rumours that The Stones are not amused that some of the stadiums might not sell out. But if you have a chance to see "the world's greatest rock and roll band," do it now before they fade away.