Gibson Melody Maker, Harmony H22 bass, Vox Ultrasonic
1969 Gibson Melody Maker guitarHarmony H22 bassVox Ultrasonic guitar, with built-in effects
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Epiphone Riviera

Thinline semi acoustic

Epiphone Emperor
Epiphone Riviera
Epiphone 1962 full line catalogue1962 full line catalog

An exciting new Spanish electric guitar with double cutaway construction and two humbucking pickups. One-piece mahogany neck with adjustable truss rod joins the body at the 20th fret
Epiphone 1964 full line catalogue1964 full line catalog

The 1964 catalogue was the first to show the Epiphone Riviera in colour.
Epiphone 1966 full line catalogue1966 full line catalog

Today the electric Spanish guitar is found everywhere... orchestras, combos, jazz bands and as a featured solo instrument. Epiphone electric Spanish guitars suit the need of every player, from the top professional, to the semi-pro, to the amateur.
Epiphone Riviera - Now! The Shape of Things To Come
Epiphone Riviera - Now! The Shape of Things To Come
Epiphone ad featuring the Riveira 6 string electric
Epiphone Riviera - Is There Something Fishy About Epiphone Guitars?
Epiphone Riviera - Is There Something Fishy About Epiphone Guitars?
Crazy 'psychedelic fish' Epiphone ad from 1967. This advertisement is quite unlike other Epiphone instruments of its time, not least for being in colour, but also instead of featuring a well regarded jazz musician. It features a very groovy looking fish playing an Epiphone Riviera. Surreal..
Epiphone Riviera - More and More People Every Day Find Us Just That Little Bit Better - In Every Way
Epiphone Riviera - More and More People Every Day Find Us Just That Little Bit Better - In Every Way
Epiphone (seen 'em on TV lately?). Late 1966 advert from British music magazine Beat Instrumental placed by UK Epiphone distributor Rosetti. The instruments shown were some of the more popular guitars in the UK at the time, from the Epiphone Texan flat top famously used by Paul McCartney, the Casino electric acoustic used by the Beatles (John, Paul and George), the Stones and the Kinks, to the Rivoli bass, used by Chas Chandler, Ronnie Lane, and numerous others.
ModelRiviera E360TD
Available1962-1969
PickupsTwo mini humbuckers
Scale24 3/4"
BodyMaple top sides and back with black and white binding. 16" wide (lower bout), 19" long, 1 3/4" thick
NeckOne-piece set mahogany with binding, rosewood fingerboard with pearloid inlays. 22 frets, body meeting the neck at the 19th fret.
Hardware2 volume and 2 tone controls. Tune-o-matic bridge with frequensator tailpiece.
FinishesSunburst, Cherry from 1966

The Epiphone range of the 1960s closely followed the Gibson guitars of the same time. The Riviera corresponds to the Gibson ES335 having the same dimensions and construction, but with different bridge, pickups and headstock. Like the ES335-12, the Riviera also had a 12-string version produdced from 1965. 1967 was the peak year for both models (in 6 and 12 string variations) but the Gibson version heavily outsold the Epiphone; a ratio of almost 8:1 for the 335, and 5:1 for the 335-12. Interestingly enough, the Epiphone was the same price or more expensive than the Gibson - a fact which must have played heavily on sales figures. For Gibson, having almost identical lines at very similar prices was a little pointless, and when Norlin took over in late 1969 these Epiphones were dropped

Sales for the period 1962-1969
manufacturermodelshipping totalprice (1/10/66)

EpiphoneE360TD (Riviera)2556$395, $435 with tremotone vibrato
GibsonES-335TD19222$365, $380 cherry

EpiphoneE360TD 12 (Riviera 12)446$410, $425 cherry
GibsonES-335TD-122016$410, $425 cherry

The fact that two almost identical instrumets (335-12 and Riviera 12) at exactly the same price, should sell in such different numbers underlines the dominance of the Gibson brand even when Epiphones were made side by side in the same factory

Ironically, the 1967 publicity for the Riviera (right) claims the following...

Dealers don't push 'em a lot, celebrities don't endorse 'em lot, but Epiphone sells a lot. hmmmmmmmmmmm
No wheelin'. No dealin'. No hoopla. So why would Epiphone be one of the best selling guitars in the business?

Production of the Riviera was resumed in the 1980s, and modern day Epiphone Riviera guitars are widely regard. Higher end Elitist, and signature models (Nick Valensi - The Strokes, Jorma Kaukonen - Jefferson Airplane) have also been available in limited numbers.

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