Sylvester Stallone Surprises His Brother with Rare Epiphone Emperor

In this newly posted video by Norman’s Rare Guitars, Frank Stallone tells how he was visiting Norman’s store in Tarzana, California, when he got a call from his brother, actor Sylvester Stallone, who then proceeded to buy him a fine and rare 1940 Epiphone Emperor formerly owned by the Sons of the Pioneers.

“I wasn’t expecting it, I didn’t know anything about it,” says Frank, who like his brother is an actor, as well as a singer/guitarist and songwriter.

“I come into the store like I do on Saturday, and all of the sudden Norm said, ‘You know someone might want to buy you a guitar,’ and I just couldn’t think of it, because my brother’s never bought me a guitar. And all of a sudden who calls me I’m in the store? Sly.”

After an hour of trying out several guitars, Frank was surprised when Norm pulled out a hand-tooled leather guitar case from roughly the Forties bearing the name Sons of the Pioneers, one of the earliest Western singing groups. The act was founded in 1933 by Leonard Slye, the cowboy singer who would later change his name to Roy Rogers. The group has continued to survive through numerous member changes and is among the longest-surviving country music vocal groups.

As it happens, Frank says, “This is one of my favorite groups, Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.”

Inside the case was a stunning 1940 Epiphone Emperor with a blonde finish.

Check out the video for the full story.

For more great videos featuring vintage and rare guitars, check out Norman’s Rare Guitars’ YouTube channel.

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Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World, a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.