|Inspired By Series John Lennon Les Paul
With a Charlie Christian pickup at the neck, stock P-90 still intact at the bridge, Tune- O-Matic bridge, stop tailpiece and tobacco burst finish sanded clean off, John Lennon’s famous Les Paul Junior had been added to, subtracted from, and changed time and time again. The modifications were made at the hands of New York luthier and repairman Ron DeMarino, who had worked extensively with John and Yoko Ono to purchase, evaluate and modify guitars.
On August 30, 1972, Lennon played the guitar onstage at New York’s Madison Square Garden for a benefit performance that would turn legendary – it was his last full-length concert. Though Lennon owned many equally well-known guitars in his time, including his Gibson J-160E and his Epiphone Casino, the image of John from this performance is unforgettable, and the Gibson Custom Shop has recognized this moment in rock history.
Though the original now sits on display at the John Lennon Museum in Japan, 300 Lennon fans will now be able to experience Lennon’s personal customization and feel as the Gibson Custom Shop adds the John Lennon Les Paul to their Inspired By line.
In the Custom Shop’s quest for accuracy, designers worked closely with Yoko Ono, who gave the guitar designers the go-ahead for a detailed review of the original in a hands-on environment – down to the plugged holes from the original wrap tailpiece. Because of this experience, the guitar was designed with all of the original details in mind for an accurate and beautiful recreation.
In keeping with the aging methods that the Custom Shop has perfected in their VOS line, the Lennon Les Paul features specially aged chrome hardware and a finish meant to perfectly represent the sanded-down look of Lennon’s guitar. Gibson stays true to the original with a P-90 in the bridge, a Charlie Christian pickup in the neck and an ABR-1 bridge with stopbar tailpiece.
The Lennon fans who purchase the guitar will also get an exclusive package of extras. A certificate of authenticity is included in a green cloth folder embroidered with Lennon’s signature, along with an interview with DeMarino, a Lennon print signed by the artist, Allison Lefcort, and a replica of Lennon’s “New York City” t-shirt – sans sleeves, 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.”
The guitar was announced mid-July and Gibson held a special event in early August celebrating the announcement in Tokyo’s Gibson Japan Showroom, featuring the original Lennon LP.
The MSRP for the guitar is $7527. gibsoncustom.com/lennon
|Lennon Les Paul
|Body & Hardware:
Solid mahogany body
Aged chrome hardware
Lightweight aluminum tailpiece
Two thumb wheels on treble
side of bridge, one on bass
Wraparound holes plugged &
ABR-1 added; Stopbar moved back
3-way Switchcraft switch added to normal Les Paul positioning
|Neck & Headstock:
1-piece mahogany neck with
long neck tenon
22-fret rosewood fingerboard
Pearloid dot inlays
Early ’50s rounded neck profile
24 3/4” scale length,
1 11/16” nut width
|Electronics & Strings:
P-90 single coil pickup in bridge position
Charlie Christian pickup
in neck position
Pickguard modified for Charlie
1 volume, 1 tone control
Vintage Reissue .010 strings