The New Custom Shop Model Includes Charlie Christian Pickup Made Famous by the Legendary Musician

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 16, 2007) - Gibson has announced the new Custom Shop John Lennon Inspired By Les Paul guitar. The guitar features a Charlie Christian pickup in the neck position, just like Lennon’s modified 1950s Gibson single-cutaway Junior. Only 300 of these special limited-edition guitars will be produced.

Lennon owned many equally well known guitars during his lifetime, including a Gibson J-160E and Epiphone Casino. The guitars Lennon chose to play often seemed to reflect his ideas, beliefs, and lifestyle. The image of Lennon playing his modded ‘50s Junior during 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 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, with Yoko Approving a complete hands-on review of the original for the design team to use as a reference point. The Inspired By Les Paul guitar is aged to look just like Lennon’s original once it was sanded down to the solid mahogany body and includes the famous Charlie Christian neck pickup 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. Additionally, 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,” a signed Lennon print by famed artist Allison Lefcort, and Lennon’s famous “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.”

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
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood Scale: 24 ¾”
  • Nut Width: 1.689”
  • Nut: Corian
  • 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
  • MSRP: $7,527

For more information, please visit

Photo by cottonbro



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