Is this the guitar Keith Richards used at the Rolling Stones’ first-ever gig?

Keith Richards' Gallotone Valencia
(Image credit: Future / Adam Gasson)

Ever since the fresh-faced newcomers of the ’60s Beat groups grew up into megastars, there’s been intense retrospective interest in the gear used in the early days of bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Numerous reference books have been written on the subject, aiming to provide a definitive account of what guitars were used for seminal gigs. 

One problem is that no one was taking notes at the time – and very few photographs, either. Another problem is that the beginner’s electric guitars that legends such as Keith Richards started out on in the ’60s were often poorly documented budget instruments built in Europe, about which relatively little is known even to this day. 

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.