I was 16 in 1974, and at the time our small town had one little music store. Like many young aspiring musicians tend to do, I frequently loitered there. I had eventually played every guitar they had, most more than once. I played the Epiphone and fell in love with its playability, sound and what seemed to be decent quality for a guitar in its price range. I thought it looked pretty good, too. It played very easy, and I thought that it sounded great to my highly experience ears. Maybe it did, but considering that it sported a bolt-on neck and a laminated top, I now have some doubt that it was capable of such an exceptional tone.
To save up the needed funds to buy it I worked months - at the absolute worst job I've ever had, for less ($1.50 per hour) than what the minimum wage was at the time ($2.30 an hour, I think), Don't ask why, it was just a different time. It was a seriously bad job. Anyway, I saved up the money, bought it, and promptly quit that awful job. It wasn't my first guitar, but was the first one I had bought brand new. I think that may have lowered the price to $140, from $150 or $160. Adjusted for inflation, $150.00 in 1974 is equal to $815.69 in 2019 - a tidy sum for a teenager to raise for what today is considered a "cheap guitar". I didn't know the reason they had they discounted the guitar, maybe it was last year's model. Most likely, I thought they had realized that I was a great guy, and wanted to do me a favor just because they liked me so much. Probably it was just the easiest way to get me to stop coming to their store for awhile.
Well, I actually learned a lot while I was playing that Epiphone, and even to this day, I still miss it. You never forget your first new guitar. I owned it for 4 or 5 years, and never had any problems with it. I sold it to a guy I went to school with for $100. A few months later, I saw him and he told me the bridge had popped off. Maybe he put on the heaviest strings he could find and then tuned it so high it was damaged; I don't really know, but it was fine when he bought it. However, this is why I rated it at only 4 stars, rather than 5.