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Epiphone Casino John Lennon “Revolution”

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Throughout John Lennon's career, his trusty Epiphone Casino was never far from his side. To commemorate the life and times of this legend, Epiphone have introduced these limited run models.

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Throughout John Lennon's career, his trusty Epiphone Casino was never far from his side. To commemorate the life and times of this legend, Epiphone have introduced these limited run models.

The John Lennon Signature Revolution Casino Features...

  • Stripped Vintage Natural with one coat of nitro-cellulose lacquer sealer over white body binding
  • Original Body Shape - Based upon Mid - '60's Kalamazoo, Michigan tooling specs
  • Body Materials - 5-layer (Maple/Birch/Maple/Birch/Maple)
  • Top Contour Bracing - Spruce with original relief-cut spacing and depth
  • One-Neck Mahogany Neck with 14 degree neck grain orientation
  • Rosewood Fingerboard with original 0.062" thick pearloid parallelogram fret markers
  • Stamped with John's original serial number on the back of the headstock (#328393)
  • Original Elliptical Neck Shape
  • Neck Binding over fret ends
  • 3-ply (W/B/W) pickguard with original shape and foil E mark (removed)
  • Scale Length - 24.75"
  • Original Corian nut material
  • Headstock Angle - 17 degrees
  • Nickel-plated, Dog-Earred P-90 Pickup Cover with Original String Spacing
  • Nickel plated Gibson-Factory Hardware
  • Gold Grover Machine Heads
  • "Gibson-Factory" Electronics
  • Dove-Tail Neck-Joint at the 16th fret
  • Switchcraft toggle switch with original toggle switch washer
  • ABR Bridge with nylon saddles
  • Vintage style case with shroud



The Casino has the same basic body dimensions and construction of the commonly recognized Gibson ES-335, the Epiphone Riviera and the Epiphone Sheraton. However, unlike the 335-style body, which features a solid-center block, the Casino is completely hollow. Additionally, older Casinos featured a 17-degree (as opposed to a 14-degree) headstock and a neck joint at the 16th (as opposed to the 17th) fret. This creates more string tension and when combined with the thin, hollow body produces a very unique sound - one that has become most associated with John Lennon and the Beatles.

It was in the spring of 1966 during the recording sessions for the Beatles Revolver that both John and George acquired a pair of sunburst Epiphone Casinos. The serial number indicates that John's was built in 1965. The most visual difference between the two almost identical guitars is that Harrison's Casino had a Bigsby and Lennon's Casino came with the stock trapeze tailpiece. Lennon's guitar also had an uncommon, but factory stock, black grommet ring mounted around his pickup selector switch. Both Casino's had the more commonly seen Epiphone style head stock.


Lennon first used the new Casino live on Sunday May 1, 1966 at the New Musical Express Annual Poll-Winners' All-Star Concert held at London's Empire Poll, Wembley. It was from this point on that John chose the Epiphone Casino as his main electric guitar. On June 24, 1966, the Beatles embarked on their third world tour, which included stops in Germany, Japan, the Philippines and the United States. For this tour, John Lennon chose his Epiphone Casino as his main guitar with his Gibson J-160E brought along as a spare. Lennon used the Casino for every live performance on this tour including the Beatles infamous final live performance on August 29, 1966 at Candlestick Park, San Francisco.

Although soon ending their live performances, the Fab Four focused their work in the studio unleashing one of their most influential albums of the 1960's, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. During these lengthy recording sessions, John would once again choose his Casino as his main electric guitar.


By 1967 the psychedelic movement in London was in full swing and mind expanding was all the rage. Embracing the psychedelic mood of the time, Lennon commissioned the artist The Fool to paint psychedelic works of art on his Rolls Royce, his upright piano and his Gibson J-160E acoustic guitar. John also chose his Epiphone to experiment with by painting the back of it with white and gray spray paint leaving the front of the guitar with it's stock sunburst finish. During the Sgt. Pepper recording sessions, Lennon also removed the stock Epiphone pick guard leaving the pick guard mounting bracket and screw on the guitar.


On May 19, 1968, John and Yoko recorded an experimental album Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins. The album cover featured a nude picture of John and Yoko. As John and Yoko had shed their clothes stripping naked for the album cover, it was around this time that Lennon had his Casino stripped down, removing the original factory finish as well as his own psychedelic paint job. He thought the guitar would sound better without finish on it. The guitar was sanded down to the bare wood and finished with a very thin, dull coat of lacquer. This newly recreated version of the Casino was first used by Lennon in the summer of 1968 during the Beatles recording sessions for the Beatles double record, The White Album. It too was stripped of color.


Lennon continued to use his Epiphone Casino through the many performance and recordings with the Plastic Ono Band and eventually changed the stock Epiphone tuning pegs to a set of gold Grover tuners. In the late 1970's, Lennon had planned to have his Casino changed back to its original sunburst finish. However, the re-finishing never took place. The guitar, still in its natural wood finish, is currently owned by Yoko Ono Lennon and is part of the Lennon Estate. It is registered in inventory as The Revolution Guitar.


In November 1997, a team of engineers from Epiphone and Gibson visited The Dakota in Manhattan to examine John's Epiphone Casino. During the examination, measurements were carefully performed, body tracings were done, drawings were created, and photographs were taken. As a result of these efforts and in cooperation with Yoko Ono, Epiphone proudly reissues two Limited Edition John Lennon Casinos.

The John Lennon 1965 Casino is a reproduction of the guitar as John originally purchased it with the vintage sunburst finish and stock hardware. The John Lennon Revolution Casino is a reproduction of the stripped Casino featuring one dull coat of lacquer, Gold Grover tuning pegs and with the pickguard removed.

Each guitar is hand-numbered and a combined total of only 1,965 John Lennon Epiphone Casino's will be produced. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each instrument will be donated to The BMI Foundation, Inc. for the John Lennon Scholarship Fund which supports music education.

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Epiphone Casino John Lennon “Revolution” Reviews



I got my Epiphone Casino when I retired after over 30 years as a teacher teaching History and Modern Studies in Scotland. I elected to het the Lennon version with hard case. It is a wonderful guitar with a good playing surface and a good electric and accoustic tone.

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