When you’re the lead guitarist in New York’s coolest rock band, you need a cool guitar. Just as Epiphone started out in Manhattan, so did The Strokes. In 1999, Nick Valensi chose to play his incendiary guitar riffs on a customized Epiphone Riviera, one of our classic guitars from the Kalamazoo era. From the fuzzy stomp of “Last Nite” to the brittle groove of “Juicebox,” the Riviera is at the heart of all the band’s greatest moments.
Stroke of Genius
The Riviera was first introduced in 1962 and featured “New York” pickups, which resembled humbuckers but were actually single coil pickups with polepieces offset from the center. At first glance, Nick’s design doesn’t stray too far from the original. However once you plug in the P94, it’s clear that this is a totally unique and modern guitar that will make vintage Riviera owners think twice about owning an expensive vintage model they’re too afraid to take out of the house.