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Some guitars are forever associated with their owners and are instantly recognizable, even outside the world of guitar players and collectors. One such guitar is John Lennon's modified Les Paul Jr, replicated here by the Gibson Custom Shop in 2007.
These sought after collectables - limited to a run of only 300 - really capture the essence of John's legendary guitar, which he had modded by Ron DeMarino, a New York luthier known for his guitar repair and restoration work.
The most obvious mod to John's LP Jr was the addition of the Charlie Christian pickup in the neck position. From author Andy Babiuk:
"I (Ron DeMarino) found out by sheer exposure, and by working on his instruments, that John messed around with his guitars a lot," says DeMarino. "When I got the Les Paul Junior from John, it was in its original factory condition”Tobacco Sunburst finish, single P90 pickup, wraparound tail piece, and Kluson tuners, but he wanted it modified. He didn't know much about guitars. For instance, he wanted a guitar with "humberdincker" pickups in it. Obviously he was referring to humbucker pickups, but he didn't know. He would say, 'I'm a rhythmer, you know? I don't know anything about these things.' I would try to talk him into getting a better sound out of this or that, like, 'Why don't you put these pickups in? You'll get a better sound.' That's when we did his Les Paul Junior, and I put a Charlie Christian pickup in.
"We put it in the neck position," says DeMarino. "Installing the Charlie Christian pickup involved extensive routing and major modification to the back of the guitar. We left the Gibson P90 pickup in the guitar and added a toggle switch wired for pickup selection. When I got the guitar back to John he liked the way it sounded."
Hearing stories like this imbue this guitar with such a cool vibe, doesn't it? To think of John Lennon being a guitar nerd, tinkering with his guitars like many of us do? Doesn't get much cooler than that!
This example = #140 - is in collector-grade condition, with the original case and case candy. A no-brainer for any Beatles fan!
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