The Riviera was first introduced in 1962 and featured “New York” pickups, which resembled humbuckers but were actually single coil pickups with polepieces offset from the center. At first glance, Nick’s design doesn’t stray too far from the origin...
Arguably Nick Valensi's most important guitar is an Epiphone Riviera with P-94 pickups from the Kalamazoo era. It was eventually officially made into a signature model, dubbed the Nick Valensi Riviera P94. At one point, Nick's orginal guitar went missing in transit between New York and Los Angeles, and the band released details of it in hopes it would be recovered (which it eventually was): **Color:** Natural (Orange-ish hue) **Brand:** Epiphone **Model:** 1995 Riviera **Serial Number:** R95E5702 **What makes it unique:** The pick guard has been removed. The headstock plate has an “E” Epiphone logo on it. Trapezoidal “mother-of-pearl” inlays on the neck. It’s been modified with P-94 and trapeze tailpiece. **Case:** Black Calzone Flight case with metal edges and butterfly latches. There’s a crack in the bottom of the case with gaffer tape covering it up. Covered in fragile stickers and other markings from traveling. In a [reddit AMA](https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/5alfor/i_am_nick_valensi_i_play_in_crx_and_the_strokes/), Nick Valensi details how he eventually got the guitar back after thinking he had lost it forever: > "the guitar never made it off an american airlines cargo plane at LAX. i thought it was gone forever. 6 weeks later, i got a phone call (on my cell) from a random post office in LA saying they had a package with my name on it, and i owe $85 postage fee (!!?) because they stored it for 6 weeks. i rushed over, and they had my guitar. they kept asking me how it got mixed in with US mail and i was like, "i don't fucking know! you guys are the post office!" i opened the case and the guitar was covered with rust, mold, and looked awful. it had been left out in the rain i believe. i sent it straight to my man todd money at gibson usa and he went all dr frankenstein on it. completely restored"more
The Riviera was first introduced in 1962 and featured “New York” pickups, which resembled humbuckers but were actually single coil pickups with polepieces offset from the center. At first glance, Nick’s design doesn’t stray too far from the original. However once you plug in the P94, it’s clear that this is a totally unique and modern guitar that will make vintage Riviera owners think twice about owning an expensive vintage model they’re too afraid to take out of the house.