The Beatles: Guitar Heroes 4

Share My Guitar is pleased to announce a new series of guest posts by John F. Crowley about guitars owned by members of the Beatles. Each week we will unleash another article covering the history and impact of these fab guitars.

SMG_Lennon_Casino

1965 Epiphone E230TD Casino

Purchased early in the year, the Casino was first used in April for the Revolver sessions, and first played live on 1 May 1966 at the New Musical Express Annual Poll-Winners’ All-Star Concert, Wembley. This guitar served as Lennon’s main guitar from then on, including the ’66 tours, when I saw it at Shea Stadium.

The Gibson/ Epiphone website describes the Casinos as having “the same basic body dimensions and construction of the commonly recognized Gibson ES-335 [actually, the 330], the Epiphone Riviera and the Epiphone Sheraton. However, unlike the 335-style [sic] body, which features a solid-center block, the Casino is completely hollow.

Additionally, older Casinos featured a 17-degree (as opposed to a 14-degree) headstock and a neck joint at the 16th (as opposed to the 17th) fret. This creates more string tension and when combined with the thin, hollow body produces a very unique sound.” In ’67, when the other Beatles were painting their guitars, Lennon sprayed the back of this guitar (body and neck) with white and gray paint (below), leaving the sunburst finish on front but removing the pickguard.

SMG_Roof_Top_Beatles

Learn more about the Beatles guitars by visiting fab guitars!

In the spring or summer of ’68 Lennon had his Casino professionally sanded to a natural finish, as did Harrison, the better to improve the tone. After that it appeared on the “Revolution” video, at the Apple rooftop performance, the Live Peace in Toronto concert, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus show, the only further change being the replacement of the stock Kluson tuning pegs with gold Grover tuners. This guitar is owned by the Lennon Estate and has been displayed at the Lennon Museum in Japan.

During a November 1997 visit to the Dakota, Lennon’s Casino was scrutinized by J.T. Riboloff for Epiphone/ Gibson, which is offering both versions of this guitar — a total of 1,965 — as vintage re-issues, with a portion of the proceeds going to the BMI Foundation, Inc. for the John Lennon Scholarship Fund

SMG_Epiphone_Casino_Lennon

  • Mickey Richardson

    This is one of my favorites. Lennon made it iconic! A beautiful guitar and it has that sweet tone which can go bluesy, rock, jazz… seems very versatile. Just a classic.

  • Great article, great guitar and the GREAT John Lennon. Thanks for adding The Beatles as guitar heroes. They were amazing pioneers of guitars and Rock & Roll. I have a related article about the Sunburst Gibson, Epiphone Casino and The Beatles. I would be interested in what you think about it:
    http://www.sunburstelectricguitarblog.com/category/sunburst-gibson

Subscribe to SMG Podcasts!
Download the latest show
from iTunes >>>