Why did the beatles play epiphone and not gibsons?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by stormtrooper, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. stormtrooper

    stormtrooper Member

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    Did gibsons suck back then?
     
  2. OiRogers

    OiRogers Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  3. peskypesky

    peskypesky Member

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    I think it's because they were big fans of Gary Clark Jr.
     
  4. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  5. OiRogers

    OiRogers Member

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    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.
     
  6. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  7. sshan25

    sshan25 Supporting Member

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    You have so much to learn, Grasshopper...
     
  8. onemoretime

    onemoretime Member

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    The Casino was the "in" guitar with the "British Beat" bands. Gibsons were too expensive.
     
  9. oldlefty

    oldlefty Member

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    Heck, the Lads couldn't even afford a real strat until 1965...
     
  10. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd Frikkin genyus Gold Supporting Member

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    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."
     
  11. iluvfender

    iluvfender Member

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    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
     
  12. Coldacre

    Coldacre Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. Echoes

    Echoes Senior Member

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    I think the Beatles had Chinese built Celestions in their Vietnam made AC30 amps too!
     
  14. Mars Rover

    Mars Rover Member

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    Yes, they sucked. Gibson's quality control problems started in 1961.
     
  15. Mystix

    Mystix Silver Supporting Member

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    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...
     
  16. gmann

    gmann Member

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    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.
     
  17. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    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.
     
  18. Harvesterofsorrow

    Harvesterofsorrow Member

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    That was before epiphone was the cheaper guitar. There was a time epiphone guitars where just as good as Gibson
     

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