Gibso N J-160e John Lennon

Gibso N J-160e John Lennon

Seventy years after his birth and three decades after his untimely passing, Gibso N J-160e John Lennon‘s message of peace continues to touch the masses, and his songs still resonate in the hearts and minds of fans around the world. At the request of Yoko Ono, Gibson Guitar is proud to offer three 70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160E acoustic guitars to celebrate the legacy of this extraordinary artist. Accordingly, only a very limited number of these handmade acoustics will ever be available.

In 1962, John Lennon was still an up-and-coming artist, and though one of two main singer/songwriters at the heart of The Beatles, was scraping by on the little money the band was bringing in at that time. For his first quality American acoustic/electric guitar, Lennon had his sights set on a new Gibson J-160E – the problem was, he didn’t have the money to buy it. With the aid of a co-signed purchase from Beatles manager Brian Epstein (who also co-signed for bandmate George Harrison’s J-160E), Lennon made the guitar his own, and put it straight to the business of making rock and roll history. Recreated by the luthiers at Gibson’s Montana acoustic guitar facility in period-perfect detail, the 70th Anniversary John Lennon models are available in three distinct versions to represent the instrument at three periods in Lennon’s life and career. The first, finished in Vintage Sunburst and limited to 500 guitars, represents the guitar as it was when Lennon first acquired it and used it on several famous Beatles recordings from 1963 to ’64, including Please Please Me, With The Beatles and A Hard Day’s Night.

The second is a stunning Custom Shop “Imagine” model in a Soft White finish personally requested by Yoko Ono to reflect the sentiment of John’s life and music during the recording of Imagine. And the third is the model as it is today, on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, with a thin, natural finish and Lennon’s famous “John and Yoko” caricature sketches, representing the appearance of the guitar during the famous Lennon-Ono “Bed-In” peace protests of 1969.

The custom shop’s second and third renditions are limited to 70 guitars each, one for every year since John’s birth in 1940, and both include a special 70th Anniversary Certificate personally signed by Yoko Ono and sent to the final purchaser by Certified Mail. As for construction, each version is an accurate rendition of the J-160E of 1962, a guitar originally released in 1954 as one of the world’s first successful “electro-acoustic” guitars, with built-in pickup and electronics and ready to hit the stage for the professional performing musician. Beloved by Lennon, and kept close throughout his too-short life, the 70th Anniversary John Lennon J-160E is a guitar every Beatles fan will want to make their own.

Gibson John Lennon Acoustic

gibson john lennon acoustic

On October 9, 2010, John Lennon would have been 70 years old. To celebrate the occasion, Gibson partnered with Yoko Ono to release three new acoustic guitars. Made by the luthiers at Gibson’s Montana acoustic guitar facility, the Lennon guitars represent three periods of the musicians life and career.

The first guitar is a Vintage Sunburst that Lennon used in 1963 and 1964 to record “Please Please Me,” “With The Beatles” and “A Hard Day’s Night.” Lennon couldn’t afford to buy the original guitar and had to get a loan from Beatles manager Brian Epstein. I’m glad he did.

The John Lennon J-160VS includes a 70th Anniversary John Lennon MOP signature on the headstock, a 1960′s laminated Sitka Spruce Top, mahogany back and sides, the classic vintage Sunburst lacquer finish, Jumbo 1960′s Frets, Gibson P-90 pickups, an historic adjustable bridge and a 70th Anniversary MOP engraved 12th Fret birthdate of John Lennon. Gibson is making 500 of these guitars and it will sell for $4,728.

The John Lennon “Imagine” guitar was requested by Yoko “to reflect the sentiment of John’s life and music during the recording of Imagine.” This white model includes an anniversary John Lennon Abalone headstock signature, 70th Anniversary MOP engraved 12th fret birthdate of Lennon, 1960s laminated Sitka Spruce top, historic Gibson Ladder bracing pattern, Mahogany back and sides, Jumbo 1960′s Frets, historic adjustable bridge, Gibson authentic P-90 pickups and a custom hardshell case.

The third model has a natural finish and has Lennon’s famous “John and Yoko” caricature sketches, representing the appearance of the guitar during the famous Lennon-Ono “Bed-In” peace protests of 1969. The original model is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

The Gibson Acoustic Lennon Museum J-160E model includes a Gibson Custom Shop Label Personally Signed by Yoko Ono, Authentic Recreation of John Lennon’s Bed‐In Caricature Sketch, 70th Anniversary John Lennon MOP Headstock Signature, 70th Anniversary MOP Engraved 12th Fret Birth Date of John Lennon, Label Personally Signed by Yoko Ono, 1960’s Laminated Sitka Spruce Top, Historic Gibson Ladder bracing Pattern, Mahogany Back & Sides, Custom Thin Lacquer Finish, Jumbo 1960’s Frets, Historic Adjustable Bridge, Gibson Authentic P‐90 Pickup and a Gibson Custom Shop Hardshell case.

The Imagine and Museum guitars are limited to 70 guitars each — one for each year since Lennon’s birth. The Imagine guitar will sell for $10,748 and the Museum guitar will sell for $15,048.

John Lennon Gibson

john lennon gibson

1962 John Lennon Gibson acoustic/electric, sunburst finish. Lennon and Harrison each bought one of these “jumbo” models (price: £161) in Rushworth’s Music House in Liverpool on 10 September 1962 (shown at right with guitar/amp department manager Bob Hobbs). Mersey Beat, in the caption from its photo commemorating the event, noted the guitars were “the only ones of their type in the country — which were specially flown to England by jet from America.”

This was probably hyperbole, as they’d taken two months to arrive after being special-ordered. (Additionally, these photos may have been taken a few days after the sale, for they already sport straps and smudges.) These john lennon gibson guitar Gibsons were used on the 11 September recordings of “Love Me Do,” but those tracks sound nearly identical to the earlier takes of those songs, which tends to confirm an earlier purchase date. Lennon’s J-160 E was used through the Please, Please Me sessions, then stolen during the ’63 Christmas show at the Finsbury Park Astoria Theatre, London. (Pity poor Malcolm Evans, who had to break the news to Lennon.) By this time, however, Lennon and Harrison had gotten their identical guitars mixed up, so it was the one registered to Harrison that disappeared.

The J-160E will never replace any high-quality flattop acoustic in terms of sound, but as one of the first John Lennon Gibson guitars to allow a player to use it acoustically and electrically, it succeeds wonderfully. Any guitar associated with the Beatles is a treasure in my book!

If you’re interested in exploring this subject further, check out Gibson’s Fabulous Flat-Top John Lennon Gibson Guitars by Eldon Whitford, David Vinopal, and Dan Erlewine. Lennon bought this to replace the above guitar, even though he often used Harrison’s for recording. It was first used in concert in Montreal on 8 September 1964 and served as a backup for the ’65 world tours. Except for an extra rosette around the sound hole — and a visible orange label inside — it was identical to his first J-160E, but it wouldn’t stay that way for long.

Gary Gibson John Lennon

gary gibson john lennon

While the J-160E was certainly a dual-purpose instrument, many collectors don’t realize that it was designed primarily as an electric that could be used as an acoustic. Piezo and internal pickups were years from being developed, so this is all Gibson knew at the time. The laminated top and ladder bracing were used intentionally to prevent unwanted frequencies and feedback. Also, because the neck was moved up to allow room Gary Gibson John Lennon for the pickup, the bridge had to be moved forward as well—so traditional X bracing wouldn’t work in this situation.

According to the serial number, your guitar dates from either 1966 or 1969. The long-style pickguard on your guitar was introduced in 1968, so we can safely assume your guitar is a 1969 model. This was probably one of the last J-160Es produced before Gibson switched to the square shoulder body style they adopted on nearly all their acoustics in the late ’60s and early ’70s. For whatever reason, the J-160E was always a bit late to adopt changes compared to other Gibson models. Everything appears to be stock on the guitar, including the bridge and control knobs.

This 1969 J-160E, in the condition it appears (which is 70 percent or “average”), is valued today between $1850 and $2250. If it were mint, it would be a $3000 to $3500 instrument. Astute readers will know that the J-160E is more valuable than an SJ produced during the same period. The J-160E ’s value is higher simply because of its association with the Beatles, and this is fairly typical of any guitar that a famous musician or band is known for using. Instrument association has affected every instrument the Beatles ever played, including Paul McCartney’s Höfner 500/1 “Beatle Bass,” John Lennon’s Rickenbacker 325 and Gibson J-160E, and George Harrison’s Rickenbacker 360 12-string.

So where does Martin fit into all of this, given they’re the granddaddy of American acoustic guitar builders? Four years after the J-160E hit the stores, Martin introduced their first acoustic/ electric flattop guitars with the D-18E and D-28E—electrified versions of the D-18 and D-28, respectively. Both variations featured two large DeArmond pickups and four knobs (one Volume and one Tone for each pickup) mounted on the soundboard. The construction of these guitars required ladder bracing similar to the J-160E, and the overall sound quality suffered because of it. Those who have seen these electric Martins know they were clunky, and large parts of the soundboard were removed for the pickups. Production of the D-18E lasted only two years and the D-28E was produced through 1964. There is little collector value with Martin’s first acoustic/ electrics—roughly half of the acoustic versions.