Well, I am back from my little vacation, and posting again.
While away, I took my Mom to an antique shop. I was bored with old glassware, tables and chairs, stuff like that. What's that? In the corner, behind a table, I spied a guitar case. One of those hardboard, faux alligator skin, guitar shaped cases from the 60's/70's. I asked the owner about it, and she said that there was an electric guitar inside. I opened it up, and saw a wonderful thing:
I was not sure what it was.... I knew it was Japanese made (the major clue being the words "Made in Japan,") but I was not familiar with Japanese made Epiphones.
The guitar was complete, with the tremelo arm and bridge cover that is missing from the one in the above photo. The condition was really, really great for a 1970's import guitar. The neck was straight, action pretty low, and: wonder of wonders, the guitar was in tune! The body had no knocks , scratches, dents or chips. It was in very nice shape. I really liked this guitar but did my best to hide the fact.
The asking price was $300, and I flatly said that was too much. The dealer knocked 25% off right away ($225). When I made a face at that, she dropped it another 10% to $202.50. I said I would think about it and left. Boy, I sure am ¢heap.
The guitar was stuck in my head, so I did some research when I got home. A half hour later, I knew that this was an Epiphone ET-270, retail cost $159.50 in 1971. It had two pickups, a tremelo and a bass boost switch. Ebay research showed that $175-$225 was the going price for one in good shape, and this specimen sure was. To top it off, I learned that Kurt Cobain played an ET-270 during the bleach era, and that it was used in the original "In Bloom" video. He later smashed it onstage.
So, now, I knew what I was looking at: A neat, playable 70's Japanese ¢heapo guitar with decent sound, playability, and a guitar hero association.
Two days later, I went back to the shop. I opened the door, and looked behind the table. The owner saw recognized me and said: "It sold yesterday."
Grrrr... I should have trusted my instincts, and bought it when I had the chance.