PRODUCT PLACEMENT: THE EPIPHONE ES-1 P90. I have probably mentioned in these pages over the years that I play the guitar. I'm nobody's shredmeister or Hendrix aspirant, but I can get along.
My main electric guitars are a well-used Fender Stratocaster and (until recently) a Carlo Robelli ES-335 knock-off that my brother gave me on permanent loan*. I'd use the Strat for, well, the things you use a Strat for... and the Robelli for what my wife likes to call "mellow moods," which is I guess another way of saying the things you don't use a Strat for.
Anyway, last Black Friday our local Guitar Center had a deal where the first 50 people in the door (at 4 AM) could buy an Epiphone ES-1 Special with two P90 pickups for $69.99. Let's say that the two pickups alone are worth more than that... and considering that the guitar has a mahogany body, it seemed like quite a steal.
The thing was, I didn't want my wife traveling to the west side of Madison, nearly 40 miles from where we live, to stand out in the insane cold so I could buy another guitar. And homey here doesn't do Black Friday... once was enough for me.
Fortunately for us lazybones, Guitar Center kept a few of these axes in stock at a near-Black Friday price. At my wife's insistence (imagine that!) I went ahead and ordered one online.
A week later I had my Epiphone ES-1, beautifully boxed and shipped to me without a scratch. I got mine in matte black with a rosewood fretboard... and yes, it does look like a Les Paul, without that toggle switch at the top of the body that I never did like the looks of.
The Strat, obviously, is on the left. That's the new Epiphone on the right.
I play a lot of different kinds of music, so I can't really make do with one electric guitar. Let's just say that the Epiphone, which I paid considerably less than a hundred bucks for, fills in all the blanks where a Strat is of little use. Most specifically, it has a deep-throated mellow sound like a hollow-body (the main reason I gave my brother his ES-335 knock-off back), a raging straight-up metal attack useful to anyone who likes AC/DC, Zeppelin, or punk rock, and to top it off a crystal "bell-like" setting that brings to mind the classic Les Paul tones of Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green and Danny Kirwan.
This is the best easy money I ever spent on a guitar. Go to any website where the Epiphone ES-1 P90 is reviewed and you'll see that hardly anyone disagrees with me.
*My younger brother, a virtuoso at classical, jazz, rock, and heavy metal, may well be the most versatile guitarist in the United States. I'm not kidding.
Posted by Alois on