The Gibson Guitar Corporation is to release three new acoustic guitars to commemorate the 70th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth.
The guitars will be made in Gibson’s Montana factory, and will represent three periods of Lennon’s life. They are being issued with the approval of Yoko Ono.
A vintage sunburst, the John Lennon J-160VS, is a reproduction of the guitar used by Lennon to record The Beatles first three albums Please Please Me, With The Beatles and A Hard Day’s Night. At the time Lennon was unable to afford the guitar and was given a loan by manager Brian Epstein
The J-160VS includes a reproduction of Lennon’s signature on the headstock, a laminated sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, a sunburst lacquer finish, Jumbo frets, Gibson P-90 pickups, an adjustable bridge and an engraved 12th fret birthdate of John Lennon.
Only 500 of the Gibson J-160VS are being produced, at a list price of $4,728.
The John Lennon ‘Imagine’ guitar was requested by Ono “to reflect the sentiment of John’s life and music during the recording of Imagine.” The white guitar features Lennon signature on the headstock, 12th fret birthdate engraving, ladder bracing and P-90 pickups. Limited to just 70 copies, it will retail for $10,748.
The third guitar in the edition is a reproduction of the model used by Lennon at the bed-ins of 1969, and is modelled on the original on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
The Gibson Acoustic Lennon Museum J-160E has a natural finish and bears Lennon’s famous caricature of him and Ono. In addition to the headstock signature and 12-fret birthdate engraving, it features a label personally signed by Yoko Ono.
The J-160E has ladder bracing, mahogany back and sides, a sitka spruce top, Jumbo frets and a P-90 pickup. Also limited to 70 copies, it will be priced at $15,048.
To say how proud I am of these new John Lennon Anniversary guitars is a huge understatement. The legacy that John Lennon has given music fans around the world is unprecedented and the friendship Gibson continues with Yoko Ono is demonstrated in these remarkable instruments that are in tribute to arguably one of the world’s greatest musicians.
Chairman and CEO, Gibson Guitar
Also on this day...
- 2017: Paul McCartney live at Madison Square Garden, New York City
- 1976: UK album release: Ringo’s Rotogravure by Ringo Starr
- 1968: Recording, mixing: Helter Skelter, I Will
- 1964: Live: Municipal Stadium, Kansas City
- 1962: Live: Queen’s Hall, Widnes
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Hambleton Hall, Liverpool
- 1960: Live: Indra Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.