Gibson Guitar has announced the new Gibson Custom John Lennon-Inspired By Les Paul guitar. The guitar will boast the renowned Charlie Christian pickup that Lennon's modified 1950s Gibson single-cutaway Les Paul Junior is famous for. Only 300 of these special limited-edition guitars will be produced by Gibson's Custom Shop.
Lennon, a worldwide musical and cultural icon, owned many equally well known guitars in his time including his Gibson J-160E and his Epiphone Casino. Like many great musicians, the guitars Lennon chose to play often seemed to reflect his ideas, beliefs, and lifestyle. In particular, the image of Lennon playing his modified 1950s Les Paul Junior at his famous live performance at New York's Madison Square Garden on August 30, 1972 is an unforgettable one—one that guitar luthier Ron DeMarino helped to shape through the assistance he provided to Lennon in modifying the well-known guitar in the early 1970s.
The Gibson Custom Shop has worked with Yoko Ono in the recreation of this famous modified Les Paul Junior guitar. As Lennon's widow, she approved a complete hands-on review of the original for the design team to use as a thorough reference point for their newly designed Inspired By guitar. The Custom Shop's Inspired By Les Paul guitar is aged to look just like Lennon's original Les Paul Junior once it was sanded down to the solid mahogany body and includes the famous Charlie Christian pickup installed in the neck position as well as aged chrome hardware. Each of the 300 limited-edition guitars will be accompanied by a Custom Shop guitar case and a certificate of authenticity in a special army green cloth folder with John's autograph embroidered on the cover. In addition, the Lennon fans who purchase this guitar will receive an article that includes an interview with DeMarino by Andy Babiuk, author of "The Beatles Gear", as well as a signed Lennon print by famed artist Allison Lefcort, and Lennon's famous "New York City" T-shirt—with the sleeves removed, of course.
"It is an honor to work with Yoko Ono on a guitar inspired by one of the world's most passionate and prolific musicians of our time, John Lennon," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "The Gibson Custom Shop has produced a guitar which expresses Lennon's legend and is inspired by his very own 1950s Les Paul junior guitar. It is a model designed with Lennon's own spirit, genius and creative works in mind."
Today, the original guitar is on permanent display at the John Lennon Museum in Japan and will also be unveiled at a special event at the Gibson Japan Showroom in Tokyo, Japan in early August 2007.
Gibson's John Lennon Inspired By Les Paul specifications:
Model: John Lennon Les Paul
Pickups: P-90 Single Coil in the bridge position & Charlie Christian in the neck position
Hardware: Aged Chrome
Nut Width: 1.689"
Bridge: Chrome ABR-1 with stopbar tailpiece (holes from original wrap tailpiece are plugged)
Neck Material: One-Piece Mahogany with Long Neck Tenon
Body Material: Solid Mahogany
Controls: Single volume, single tone, 3-way pickup switch
Color: Faded Cherry Date Available: July 12th, 2007