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Beatles and Epiphone

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by markw51, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. markw51

    markw51 Tele-Afflicted

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    The Beatles could have bought any guitars they wanted but instead of Martins or Gibsons they often played Epiphones. Why?
     
  2. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Epiphones in those days were made in Kalamazoo alongside Gibsons (who bought Epiphone in 1957). They were a highly regarded brand back then. It wasn't until the early seventies that Norlin killed the American production Epis and slapped the brand on import guitars.
     
  3. J-man

    J-man Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Well, they played a wide variety of instruments from all kinds of different manufacturers.. Gibson, Fender, Martin, etc. Maybe they just quite liked the design of the Epi Casino (which AFAIK Gibson have never produced under their own name).
     
  4. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Gibson made the ES-330, which is very similar, but with different appointments for brand differentiation. I also think they used different neck shapes on the Epiphones.
     
  5. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    The Epiphone Casino IS a Gibson ES-330.

    What happened is Gibson bought Epiphone after they went out of business for the tooling for Epiphone basses. They found they had bought all the tooling, plus plenty of unfinished instruments, which Gibson completed and sold as Epiphones.

    Gibson was very particular about their authorized dealers, and made sure there weren't too many in any area. The management realized that by using the Epiphone name they could double the number of dealers they had, and started to make slightly different versions of Gibson instruments under the Epiphone name. The Casino is an ES-330. The Riviera, while slightly different, was based on -- and equivalent to an ES-335, the Sheraton was aimed at the ES-355.

    The instruments were made on the same lines, with the same quality as Gibson branded instruments and were very popular. It was in no way a lower line than Gibson.

    P.
     
  6. Post Toastie

    Post Toastie Poster Extraordinaire

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    Depending which model you had P-90s or Mini Humbuckers for pickups.
     
  7. J-man

    J-man Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Ah, ok.
     
  8. H. Mac

    H. Mac Friend of Leo's

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    Here's the story, quoted from

    http://www.thebeatlesthroughtheyears.com/p/the-guitars-of-beatles.html

    The Epiphone Casino actually came into The Beatles' stable through their bass player Paul acquiring one in late 1964 (on the advice of John Mayall) so he could keep his hand in on the guitar work in the studio. Before Paul had it restrung left handed John played it and obviously liked it as a couple of months later he and George got one each (John's was the only one not to have a Bigsby tremelo arm. Presumably because he didn't use or like them) and used them on their last ever tour in 1966. Paul used his for his lead guitar work with the Beatles and continues to use his on tour to this day stating that if he could only have one Electric guitar it would be the Casino. John and George had theirs sanded down and Lennon used his until 1971 when he complained during sessions for his Imagine album that it was getting harder to hold down a chord on it. George seemed to have stopped using his in 1967 Although he may have used it in his solo career but since he enjoyed using Fender guitars for their easy slide guitar capabilities.


    The photos on the site show P90s with the metal dog ear covers. A dog ear mounted P 90 is one of the most impressive pickups of all time.
     
  9. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The Beatles thought they were Fab and, very Gear.
    That's why.
     
  10. markw51

    markw51 Tele-Afflicted

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    So bottom line, the Ephiphones played by the Beatles were American made instruments - not Asian imports like they are now. Correct?
     
  11. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    Correct, USA made epiphones are every bit as good as the Gibson's of the same era.
     
  12. Brian J.

    Brian J. Tele-Afflicted

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    ^^^^ you are correct sir
     
  13. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yep. In the early seventies production was moved to Japan, switching to Korea in the eighties. I don't know when the move to Chinese production took place.
     
  14. Bongocaster

    Bongocaster Friend of Leo's

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    Before Gibson bought them, Epiphone was major serious competition for Gibson with plenty of serious players preferring Epiphone.
     
  15. neatone

    neatone Tele-Holic

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    cheers
     
  16. NiceTele

    NiceTele Tele-Afflicted

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    Love that vid of Nowhere Man- incredible band and to think with little or no stage monitors, and obviously a lot of ambient noise they just nailed the harmonies of that song so well. I used to have an old '60s Epi like they were using, and it was a real feedback machine, but a lovely comfortable guitar to play:cool:
     
  17. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    When Gibson ran the ad campaign "Only a Gibson is good enough" as printed on their banner headstocks...
    Epiphone countered with their campaign... Epiphone "when good enough isn't good enough".
    Check out the book House of Stathopoulo for Epiphone history.

    Gibson bought Epiphone in 1957 for $20,000

     
  18. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    A lot of the Old, pre and early Gibson Epiphones are really fine guitars. Even some of the early Japanese models are pretty good. My brother has a really oddball Japanese model.
     
  19. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have an Epi I bought last year and it's built pretty good too!
     
  20. hekawi

    hekawi Poster Extraordinaire

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    indeed.

     
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