Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by stormtrooper, Mar 28, 2015.
Did gibsons suck back then?
At that time Epi was not the Squier of the Gibson brands, it was a competitor.
Gibson bought Epiphone in the late 50's I believe, but they didn't really make Epi the sub-brand we see today until much later when the started pushing Gibsons famous models cut rate under the Epi moniker. In the Beatles era, Epi was still putting out models that only Epiphone made.
No they didn't.
I think it's because they were big fans of Gary Clark Jr.
Not really competitors anymore; Gibson bought Epiphone in 1957, long before the Beatles started playing Epiphones. In the '60s, Epiphone was owned by Gibson (or Gibson's parent company, CMI). Gibson used the brand name to turn out nearly identical but slightly cheaper versions of their own guitars; the Casinos that the Beatles played were really just ES-330s with different headstocks. Gibson specifically chose which retailers would carry Gibsons and which would carry Epiphones to avoid geographical overlap.
Valid point, but wasn't the Epi brand still putting out some original models in that era? Gibson really Squiered em in the 70s and later... Then again, I wasn't around then, so my knowledge of the era comes from reading history.
All Epiphone models except the Emperor and maybe the Sorrento had some fairly close Gibson equivalent by the mid '60s. Usually, the differences were either in body shape (such as a Newport bass vs an EB-0) or in pickups (such as a Riviera vs an ES-335). Granted, the pickups sometimes made a substantial difference in sound, but for many models the difference was only cosmetic.
You have so much to learn, Grasshopper...
The Casino was the "in" guitar with the "British Beat" bands. Gibsons were too expensive.
Heck, the Lads couldn't even afford a real strat until 1965...
They were more readily available in some places, for sure. I don't think the cost was necessarily a factor for the Beatles at any point from 1964 on, although it does appear that they continued to be parsimonious with guitars well after the point where they started spending silly money on other things.
At any rate, all three of the guitar-playing Beatles were quite fond of their Casinos. Paul still claims that's his overall favorite guitar.
Of course George played a Gibson now and then as well. An ES-345 at one point (not for very long) and the more well-known SG and Les Paul "Lucy."
I would love to own a nice Epiphone Frontier acoustic from the late 50's mid 60's. The Hummingbird derived from it. Epi made some very quality guitars in those days
I think the Beatles had Chinese built Celestions in their Vietnam made AC30 amps too!
Yes, they sucked. Gibson's quality control problems started in 1961.
I think part of the reason was what was available in England at the time - were Epiphones - and other brands - that were not that popular in America.
They played Rics also - I am guessing that they were easier to obtain in England/Germany at the time and the Fab four gigged heavily in hamburg...
Availability for the most part. Fenders were hard to get too although this shouldn't have been a problem for The Beatles. To be fair tho, George and John did play J-160's starting in '63 and George had an SG as early as the Revolver sessions, followed by he red '57 Lester. There are pics of Harrison playing a 345 in the Day Tripper video's as well as at least one live show. McCartney came in with his Casino and George and John just liked it, maybe that's the only reason.
Have you played one?
Casinos are one of the coolest, most musical guitars out there.
Especially for stuff like what The Beatles were doing.
Seriously, they could have played anything they wanted - they chose the Casino because it worked best for them.
That was before epiphone was the cheaper guitar. There was a time epiphone guitars where just as good as Gibson