Hamish Stuart's 1967 Epiphone Casino E230TD
Hamish Stuart's 1967 Epiphone Casino, a classic in his hands, and a guitar that defined the British explosion from The Beatles and Rolling Stones, through Britpop, and still today. True Gods: Dave Davies, The Edge, Noel Gallagher, George Harrison, Brian Jones, John Lennon, Johnny Marr, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Paul Weller, and many others.
Double serial number stamp. "100523" faintly visible beneath "120415", an early and not uncommon example of reuse in the Gibson Kalamazoo Factory. Both serial numbers are for 1967 builds.
Frequensator Tailpiece. Earlier models of the Casino came with a Trapeze (on the "T" & "TD" models) or Tremolator (on the "TV" or "TDV" models). The Frequensator was offered from 1966, with an aim to increase the brightness and response of the lower three strings (or the other way, depending on fitting!).
Cherry finish. An iconic colour, shipped for the first time in 1967.
See & Hear It In Action
Get Back World Tour - Get Back: Watch "Get Back" performed by Paul McCartney And Band on the Get Back World Tour, 1989 - 1990, with Hamish and the Casino on wonderful filler & solo form.
Pick Up The Pieces Masterclass, ACM: Watch Hamish leading a masterclass run-through of the Average White Band's "Pick Up The Pieces" at the Academy of Contemporary Music, ACM.
Live Sound Agency: Including a great career summary and discography - and many links to Hamish in action..
Sulphuric Records: Hamish's own website, a wonderful insight into the great man's career.
Hamish Stuart owned this Epiphone Casino from 1978 to 2018. Hamish is a wonderfully versatile guitarist, with an enviable career as guitarist/songwriter with the Average White Band, which he joined in 1972, with Chaka Khan, on her first three albums, with Paul McCartney for 6 years from 1987, and then pursuing a solo career with the Hamish Stuart Band. Alongside multiple guest appearances with some of the world's finest musicians.
Hamish bought the guitar in the spring of 1978. It was a happy moment of "right place, right time". He was in the old Atlantic Studios at 1841 Broadway in New York when he heard that there were a couple of guitars worth looking at. A store owner friend of one of the Quality Control team had found a small cache of Epiphone guitars languishing in a back room and he'd brought them in to see if any Atlantic people were interested. They were all red. Hamish picked up the Casino "and on first touch I knew I had to have it".
Its first outing was on Chaka Khan's first album, "Chaka". And what a baptism. It is the guitar on worldwide hit "I'm Every Woman", which is guaranteed to fill dancefloors still today.
From that point, the Casino was Hamish's guitar of choice. He played it on the next two Chaka Khan albums, "Naughty" and "Whatcha Gonna Do For Me" (the title track for which Hamish wrote with Ned Doheny). And also in the final years of the Average White Band - most memorably on another supreme dancefloor filler, 1980's "Let's Go Round Again".
In 1987, Hamish took a call from Paul McCartney asking him to join him in the recording of "Flowers In The Dirt". Hamish played the Casino on that album, and then all the way through to the end of a second world tour with Paul McCartney in 1993. The setlists read like a list of eternal favourites from The Beatles, Wings & Paul McCartney's solo years - and Hamish played this Casino throughout the six years he worked with Paul McCartney. Check out the wonderful footage of him playing lead on "Get Back", which, as he says himself, the Casino was "perfect for as the original had been played on an Epi".
Hamish has since pursued a solo career, and added multiple guest appearances with some of the world's finest musicians. Throughout that time, he has lovingly cared for the Casino and played it all over the world. It's had one refret, but everything else on the guitar is unchanged from that first purchase in 1978.
This really is a fantastic guitar. More than 50 years old and it still looks and plays beautifully!
Sources & Links
Epiphone Casino by Vintage Guitar And Bass: Epiphone Casino History and Spec, from the incredibly thorough and well-researched Vintage Guitar And Bass people.
The Epiphone Interview with Dave Berryman: Dave Berryman, Gibson president, talks about restoring Epiphone to its glory days, with numerous references to the Casino model - and Paul McCartney's memory that he was the first Beatle to buy a Casino, with John and George quickly following suit.
Johnny Marr's Casino & How Soon Is Now?: It's a 63 Sunburst, rather than a 67 Cherry, but page down through the brilliantly researched Smiths On Guitar to find the story behind one of the most innovative sounds ever to come out of a Casino (plus four Fender Twin Reverbs). And spend more time on the page - the best website for insights into Johnny Marr's (and Andy Rourke's) gear.
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