Lennon's Guitars, Part 8

1966: 1965 Epiphone E230TD Casino (hollow-body f-hole electric, sunburst finish, stock trapeze tailpiece).  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 (right).  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.  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 (left), 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. 



The paint job


During a November 1997 visit to the Dakota, Lennon's Casino was scrutinized by J.T. Riboloff (right) 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. 

 Onward to Pt. 9

(c)2000, 2015 John F. Crowley