Gibson CEO Cesar Gueikian has posted several teasers of the forthcoming Epiphone Kirk Hammett Greeny Les Paul Standard – and players are getting particularly excited about the inclusion of what looks to be a Gibson-profile headstock on the new signature guitar.
The Gibson Brands marketing playbook typically sees endorsees and Gueikian himself tease the arrival of new gear ahead of official announcements, and it’s been the same with Greeny.
Now, though, it feels like momentum is really building, with Gueikian sharing two posts about the guitar in recent days, including a playing clip and an image that shows Kirk Hammett playing the Epiphone Greeny onstage with Metallica.
It’s the video that first had guitarists talking, though, with a clip of Gueikian demoing the Greeny – which appears to show the inclusion of a Gibson-style headstock on the Epiphone build.
The clip sees the CEO throwing in a considerable Hammett nod with some Black Album riffs, including Sad But True and Wherever I May Roam, posted alongside the hashtag #headstock – proving that, as ever, Gueikian knows exactly what buttons to push with the faithful.
As of 2019, Epiphone Les Pauls have come with a curvier 1950s-style headstock, inspired by the firms ’50s Kalamazoo builds, rather than the slimmer Gibson-style ‘open book’ design.
Debate rages around the reason for the change, with some players speculating that it’s to demarcate the affordable line from the Gibson USA builds, and others maintaining that it’s about remaining faithful to Epiphone’s own origins – given the firm pre-dates Gibson.
Regardless, the Epiphone Greeny looks set to come with a Gibson-style headstock, and Gueikian’s IG post has been inundated with comments from guitarists requesting it is rolled out on other builds from the firm.
“Please tell me that’s the new Epiphone headstock in general”, writes one commenter. “Put this headstock on all Epiphones please – custom shop owner but I’d buy an Epiphone with a proper headstock, would have got the Jim James if you did!” adds another.
“This is exactly why they WON’T do that,” comes the rejoinder from another player.
Later, Gueikian posted an image of Hammett performing with the Epiphone Greeny (and, as our colleagues on MusicRadar point out, there’s fan-shot video footage out there, too – below). Again, the comments are full of requests for Epiphone to roll out the headstock as standard on Gibson-inspired builds.
We suspect that won’t be happening for a while, however. Gibson has carefully revived its premium image in the years since the takeover and worked hard to position Epiphone as more than a sub-brand.
It’s hard to see it jeopardizing that. We also suspect the Greeny might be one of the priciest Epiphone builds yet, and features like a Gibson-style headstock will help the firm justify a price tag that might be hard to swallow for some.
The model has to rank among the most hotly anticipated Epiphone guitar releases ever, with speculation over the existence of an affordable version arising as soon as Gibson introduced its incredible $50k Custom Shop Collector’s Edition Greeny.
Hammett further stoked anticipation of the model back in May, when he told Guitarist: “my favorite version of Greeny is probably the Epiphone”.
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