Dan Armstrong guitars were put on the map when Keith Richards famously used one on the Rolling Stone's 1969 U.S. tour. Ampeg hit the endorsement jackpot with the Keefster and quickly gave him a second Dan Armstrong for backup and alternate tunings. Although Richards later went on to use Telecasters as his weapon of choice, the sound and image of Keith playing a Dan Armstrong through a wall of SVT's in 1969 is unforgettable, and wonderfully documented in the movie Gimme Shelter.
Ron Wood also began to use a Dan Armstrong during his years with The Faces, oftentimes for slide as shown here. And although you'd never know it from his work with the 'Stones, Ronnie was one hell of a musician when he was sole guitarist with the Faces.
After Ampeg stopped production in 1971, Dan Armstrong's started to fall off the cliff a little bit in terms of prominence with major artists and visibility with the public. But there were a lot of guys in the '70's who played a Dan at one time or another, and here's a few pics from back in that era.
Now it's the punk era of the late '70's and early '80's. Musical tradition is being turned on its ear, and pretty sunburst Les Pauls and Stratocasters are out. Live gigs are turning into rugby matches with the audience, equipment is stolen left and right, and stage guitars need to be flashy, durable, loud and cheap. Not surprisingly, the Dan Armstrong's high build quality and mid-range sound appeals to a number of punk guitarists, most notably Greg Ginn of Black Flag.
Here's an amazing photo sequence of Black Flag in 1982. To the left, Ginn busts a move on his Dan Armstrong to warm up the crowd. Then Rollins moves downstage to take command. But an enthusiastic fan moves in for a closer look...and takes out half the band. To the far right, Ginn seems to have avoided the damage and gloats at his good fortune. Great shot here too of Ginn's Peavey stage rig.