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April 02, 2011

Inspired By: The Two John Lennons

Written by Jeff Sobel

 

John was a complicated man, as explorers and envelope pushers so often are.  Contrast the many different stages in his life with each other and it’s easy to recognize that he was a man of change and growth.  His spirit was a steady constant, however, and interestingly his choice in guitar was as well.

Way back in 1964, Paul McCartney picked up an Epiphone Casino guitar.  The Casino is a hollowbody electric guitar, similar to the extremely popular ES-335 but with a unique tone (a tone the Beatles would soon make famous).  John tried it out a few times and in 1966, during the recording of the Beatles’ Revolver, John picked up one of his own.  It was a sunburst, standard for the time.  George picked up a Casino too, but outfitted his with a Bigsby tremolo.

A lot changed in the coming years, with the Beatles, with John and in the world.  War and psychedelia were everywhere, and John’s art and humanitarian vision were in the middle of it all.  He made his instruments a reflection of the time and had many of them, including the Casino, spray painted and graffitied.  In 1968 John pulled a 180 and went back to basics.  Around the time he and Yoko created their historic album Two Virgins, John stripped the Casino all the way down to its natural wood.  John would carry his natural blonde Casino into the studio for the Beatles’ final recordings sessions and up onto the rooftop for the Beatles’ final public performance.

The most important moments in the incredible journey of John’s favorite instrument have been captured and immortalized by Epiphone who have made available two Limited Edition John Lennon Casinos.  Both were created through careful analysis and measurement of John’s personal Epiphone Casino which is still owned by Yoko Ono.

The first of the two instruments is the Epiphone John Lennon Signature “1965” Casino.  It is a reproduction of the guitar as it was originally bought by John.  It is a vintage sunburst finish.


The second reissue is the Epiphone John Lennon Signature “Revolution” Casino.  This is the Casino as John transformed it; stripped to its natural finish, pickguard removed, and tuners swapped for gold Grovers. 


A total of 1,965 of these John Lennon Signature reissues will be produced, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to help support music education.  They are available now in guitars stores all around the world, and are favorite instruments onboard the John Lennon Bus.

For more detailed info on these lovingly reissued pieces of history, check out http://www.epiphone.com/story.asp.

Next entry: NAB and the Bus in Vegas

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