Epiphone Casino 1966

Epiphone Casino 1966 genuine vintage USA model owned by Andy. This is exactly as John Lennon’s original 1965 specification Casino except it does not have nylon saddles in the bridge. Very rare to find one in such reasonable condition and in the correct sunburst finish.

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Rickenbacker 325c1958

Rickenbacker 325c1958 owned by Andy. John bought his first Rickenbacker in Hamberg and this is Rickenbacker’s recent reissue of the very same instrument. This has had the edition of a Bigsby tremolo and a bow tie bridge, the same upgrades undertaken by Lennon himself after his purchase.

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Epiphone Casino 1968

Epiphone Casino 1968 genuine vintage USA model owned by Andy. This has had the same modifications as John made to his Casino including sanded body and neck and the edition of gold Grover (Pat Pending) tuners.

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Rickenbacker 325V63

Andy owns and plays a 1996 Rickenbacker 325-V63, this guitar is a direct reissue of the Rickenbacker made specifically for and presented to John Lennon in 1964 to replace his battered and road weary 1958 model 325. Johns model was actually built in 1964 with the serial number DB122 and became his favorite guitar for live and studio use throughout '64 and '65. Andy's 'Ricki' is also a short-scale model, 'jetglo' in colour with the same 2-layer pickguard, Ac'cent vibrato unit and extra balance control as Johns original. Rickenbacker no longer produce this reissue model.

FACT: John also had a 12-string version of the 325. Yoko Ono still owns all three of Johns Rickenbacker 325's.

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Gibson J-160E

Andy plays and owns a gorgeous 1999 Gibson J-160E. This guitar is identical to the guitars bought by John and George in 1962, listed in early Gibson catalogues as the 'Electric Jumbo Model' (due to it being fitted with an electric P-90 pickup and electric control knobs). When plugged into an amplifier the guitar gives an early approximation of a miked acoustic, when over amplified you get the 'I Feel Fine' guitar sound. Today's advanced technology has allowed Andy to fit an additional 'Fishman' pickup across the sound hole of the guitar, with an additional Jack socket strategically hidden in the back strap button. A combination of the two pickups allows Andy to recreate all sounds achieved by Lennon with this guitar, live and recorded. The guitar also provides a fantastic miked sound for studio use.

FACT: Johns guitar was stolen in 1963 during a Christmas show at the Finsbury Park Astoria. John bought a replacement J-160E in 1964 almost identical to his first. This second version was later painted psychedelic blue and pink by the artists 'the Fool' in '67 and then sanded back to wood in 1968.

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Epiphone Casino ES-230TD - Lennon 1966 Period

Lennon and Harrison purchased two Casinos in 1966 for the Revolver sessions (Paul already owned one a year earlier). Both guitars were Sunburst but Lennons had a regular Epiphone 'trapeze' tailpiece as opposed to Harrisons Bigsby Tremelo System. This guitar had its back painted brightly by the artists 'the fool' in 1967 and was eventually sanded back to wood in 1968. Andy owns two versions of this guitar. The first version (one of the newest additions to The Beatalls fold of instruments) is a special Lennon reissue with vintage colouration made to exactly the same specification as Johns when he received the guitar in '66. John played the Casino in its original condition throughout The Beatles final live tours. The special reissue Casino comes with a certificate of authentication.

 

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Epiphone Casino ES-230TD - Lennon 1968 Period

The second Casino owned by Andy was purchased in 2000 and was originally finished in natural blonde varnish. The guitar was also put through the same stripping process as Lennons bringing it back to unfinished wood. Andy's guitar was refitted with the same gold Grover tuners as Johns and also finished with more unusual features such as the black disk on the pickup selector switch, an odd black volume knob among the other gold ones and the pick guard mounting hardware without the pickguard. This version of the Casino stands in the same condition as Johns in 1968.

FACT: Johns ES-230TD is still owned by Yoko Ono, still in natural wood and it is currently displayed in the John Lennon museum in Tokyo, Japan. It was closely examined and measured in 1997 by Epiphone allowing them to reissue identical models such as the one above.

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Epiphone Casino ES-230TD

George's Epiphone Casino was identical to Johns except it was fitted new with a Bigsby tremelo system, he later also removed the pickguard. George's guitar was also sanded back to wood in 1968 to allow the guitar to 'breath'. Mel owns a 1997 sunburst version of this guitar also with the Bigsby fitted and it is sometimes seen with The Beatalls minus its pickguard (emulating George's around 1967).

FACT: It was believed by Harrison that the Casinos became much better guitars once the paint was removed.

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Rickenbacker 360/12V64

Ian from The Beatalls acquired the 1995 model reissue of George's 12-string Rickenbacker (the 360V64-12) new in 1996, the same time Andy bought his 325V63. The guitar is an excellent and exact replica of George Harrisons December 1963 version (serial number CM107) in which he made world famous in the film 'A Hard Day's Night' and still owned at the time of his death. Although The Beatalls version is owned by Ian it is always played by Mel who plays George! This guitar is responsible for the 'jingly-jangly' sound on Beatle songs such as 'A Hard Day's Night', 'You Can't Do That' and 'Anytime At All', in fact it is prominent throughout the whole of the Hard Day's Night album. Rickenbacker have now discontinued this reissue model.

FACT: Rickenbacker employ a nonstandard 12-string tuning system on the 360-12 so that the player hits the thicker, lower string first on the downstroke before the octave string.

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Gretsch 6122 Country Gentleman - ChetAtkins

The Beatalls are most proud of owning this instrument, it is an original 1964 Gretsch 6122 Country Gentleman in 'pristine' condition identical in every way to George's second and favorite version. George's first Gent employed a 'screw-down' mute string damping system but this guitar was exchanged by George for one with dual 'flip-up' mutes. The Beatalls version is owned by Ian but used by Mel and was purchased in November 1996. The guitar has gold hardware, fake painted f-holes, stepped Grover tuners and a Bigsby tremelo system exactly the same as George's and unusually for this guitar at this age; the flip-up mute damping system still works! The guitar has been cared for and set up by both Alan Marshall of Northworthy, Derbyshire (01335) 370806 and by Andy Farrel of Kimberly, Nottingham (0115) 9389965. Andy Farrel recently fully overhauled the fretboard making the guitar feel 'as new'.

Mel is soon to purchase a brand new Gretsch G6119-62HT "Harrison Model" Tennessee Rose which will be listed here as soon as it arrives from America!

FACT: George's Country Gentleman fell off the back of The Beatles touring van in 1965 on the M1 motorway and was consequently smashed to pieces by a following lorry!

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Hofner 500/1 Violin Bass

Finally a guitar owned AND played by Ian, a Hofner 500/1 'Cavern' Bass. This bass is a reissue of the first of Paul McCartneys Hofners purchased by Paul in Hamburg and used live before the group was famous and through until mid 1963. McCartney picked out this bass due to its symmetrical looks making it look more natural when played left-handed. Its distinctive bass heavy tone graces famous early Beatles hits such as Love Me Do, From Me To You and She Loves You. You can tell the earlier version of the Hofner by the close spacing of the flat chrome 'diamond' pickups. This bass is one of the newest additions to The Beatalls stable of instruments purchased by Ian on a recent trip to Denmark Street in London with Mel Heappey in April 2002.

 

FACT: Pauls version of this bass was overhauled in the mid sixties due to its poor and over-gigged condition. The bass was repainted, had new pickup mounts fitted and had its pickguard altered. It was last seen on The 'Revolution' promo video but soon after this it was stolen. If you have this bass - do the right thing and return it to its rightful owner!

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Hofner 500/1 Violin Bass

The Beatalls second Hofner 500/1 was bought in 1988 by Ian in a state of total disrepair. It had no pearl scratch plate or Hofner badge, it had had the hofner tuners replaced with nonstandard versions and had very, very worn paintwork, down to the wood in many places. The neck of the instrument was slightly warped and was almost separated from the body with worn fretting making the bass almost unplayable. As the guitar was an original 1964 model it was decided to restore the instrument. Against all odds the guitar now exists in excellent condition with many replacement Hofner original parts. The guitar even has a Hofner strap and round-wound strings fitted and was refinished to match the colours of Pauls second and favorite Hofner Violin Bass by Phil Boot of Nottingham. This bass went through a second smaller restoration in 2002 where the tuners and scratch plate were yet again replaced with improved items from the USA. Ian's Hofner is identical to Paul's bass purchased in 1963. Both Ian's and Paul's model have the newer Hofner badge on the headstock and spaced apart 'staple' type pickups. Paul used his bass with The Beatles from 1963 to 1969 and has retrieved it for use again in recent years.

FACT: Paul's bass is still owned by him today and still has a 1966 U.S. tour set-list sellotaped to the side of the body. Paul was offered but never took delivery of a one-off gold plated hardware version of the bass by the Hofner company in 1964. This bass is owned by Music Ground in Leeds and Doncaster.

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Rickenbacker 4003 Bass

Paul used a Rickenbacker 4001S bass in the studio years of The Beatles (1966 to 1969). Paul's bass was originally 'fireglo' in colour but was later decorated by the artists The Fool and eventually overzealously sanded and stripped back to wood in 1969. Paul also used this bass through the majority of Wings. Ian's bass was purchased new in 1990 and is a 1989 4003 model also in fireglo. The bass looks very similar to Paul's, but differs in that it has improved electrics, white edge binding front and back and inlayed pearl 'shark-fin' fret markers. The bass gives the same distinctive Rickenbacker sound and is currently used by The Beatalls for later Beatles material.

FACT: Most Rickenbackers including this bass have a stereo output socket that puts both pickups on different sides of the stereo image.

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Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl 'Super Classic' Drum Kit #1

The famous Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl 'Super Classic' Drum Kit. This version is one of two Ludwigs Super Classics owned by Steve. The first kit is a vintage 1963 in 'pristine' condition. It still proudly shows its keyhole badges, brass rims and 'Dec 1963' manufacture date. The original snare from this kit is a chrome Ludwig 400 but it is not presently used with the kit, it has since been replaced for the Ludwig 'reissue' black oyster Jazz Festival snare. The tom holder is the original bar type (as on Ringos first kit) with bracket. Steve uses this kit with two original Ludwig 1400 flat base cymbal stands, a Ludwig Spurlok flat base hi-hat stand and a Ludwig SpeedKing kick drum pedal. The kit even supports Weathermaster skins including an original Ludwig logo bass drum front skin with 'The Beatalls' written across it. Steve has owned the kit for about six years and it goes out live with The Beatalls on every performance at present. This drumkit has been played at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool.

FACT: Ringo usually replaced the tom holder on his Ludwigs with a Rogers 'Swivomatic' upgrade. This entails removing the bar and drilling a large hole in the bass drum to accommodate the new hardware. The Beatalls feel that this would not be a 'wise move' to copy on this rare vintage kit!

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Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl 'Super Classic' Drum Kit #2

In May 2002 Steve, purchased a second Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl Super Classic kit of 1967 vintage! This drum kit was purchased and shipped from New Jersey, USA and includes a matching Black Oyster Pearl 1961 Jazz Festival Snare Drum. This 1967 kit also supports a Beatalls front skin. Steve has also gone as far as to purchase a pair of matching original Ludwig 1400 'flat base' cymbal stands, a SpurLok Hi-hat stand and a 'Speed King' bass drum pedal for use with both kits. The cymbals and hi hats are Axian Zildgians.

FACT: Ringo owned four versions of the Ludwig Super Classic kit, two in these sizes (22"/13"/16") and two in the smaller 'Downbeat' sizes (20"/12"/14").

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PICTURE TO FOLLOW SOON!

Ludwig Black Oyster Pearl 'Downbeat' Drum Kit #3

In August 2002 Steve purchased a third Ludwig Drumkit, again from the USA. This one is a 1962 Black Oyster Pearl Super Classic Downbeat kit. This Downbeat kit is the same as Ringos first two Ludwig Kits with the drum sizes being smaller than the standard kits Steve owns and listed above. The Downbeat kit format is as follows: an 8-lug, 20" x 14" Bass Drum, a 12" x 8" Rack Tom and a 14" x 14" Floor Tom. We assume Ringo upgraded to the larger 10-lug 22" Bass Drum, 13" Tom and 16" Floor Tom to get a louder sound, keeping up with the ever improving guitar amplification. Steve has also purchased a second Ludwig SpurLok Hi-hat stand to complement this kit. The beat goes on....and on....and on.....!

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Vox AC30

The Beatalls complete their gear by using the same backline amps as The Beatles. These of course were made by Vox and in the early years, 1962-1964, the Vox AC30 was 'the' model. Andy owns a 1991 30th Anniversary reissue version complete with the stunning blue 12” Alnico speakers

 

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Vox AC30

Mel owns a 1967 model which has been restored back to its present immaculate condition. These amps when used with Rickenbackers and Gretsch guitars deliver the right distinctive 'Beatles tone'. The amps are usually close miked for live gigs.

 

 

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Vox AC30 Anniversery

Andy also owns a 1990 anniversery reissue Vox AC30 in vintage blonde covering - Serial Number 081.

 

 

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Vox T100 Bass Rig

Paul McCartney used a Vox set up also throughout the touring Beatle years (1962-1966). Paul used two models, the Vox T60 and Vox T100. Ian owns and uses a Vox T100 set up for The Beatalls bass work. This rig consists of an JMI Vox reissue AC100 bass head built by Music Ground of Doncaster and an original 1964/65 T100, 2 x 15" loaded bass cabinate. Both units have been recovered using original 60's vintage Vox diamond grill cloth. The bass amplifier is usually only used as backline for The Beatalls, the main bass sound is produced by a Direct Inject box. Ian also own a practice Vox T25 transistor bass combo amp.

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See Steve's other non Beatles related instruments

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