John Lennon Junior Build
& Some History
Recently I have started making my own
guitars, and this Gibson Les Paul Junior (LPJ)is
to be the subject of my first major build.
The job came out after a recommendation
from a fellow forum member (Pippy
on the Gibson Forum). Basically one of the forum members (Clarkuss
I think his forum name is) posted a thread in the Les Paul
section about wanting to mod a Les Paul Junior into a John
So after the recommendation I communicated via email with Clark, as to go over
the project details. The next thing I know I had a 1958 LPJ
Reissue and a Lollar Charlie Christian
pickup arrive at my door waiting for the conversion to take
Now in case you don't know... John's LPJ started out life
as a sunburst model (Fig.1) Which I think can be seen
on a TV performance.
Fig 1: Stock
Fig 2: Modified
Then he had it modified with a Charlie Christian pickup (Fig 2.) and
had the stock wraparound bridge replaced with a tune-o-matic/
tailstop combination and sanded it down to an unknown colour
where it was used in the famous Madison Square garden gig
Then later it was refinished again
in cherry red which Gibson did a short run
of re-issues I think in about 2006 that looks like the one
Now Clark is part of a Beatles tribute
band called Them Beatles. The reason he wanted
this guitar was to do some of the songs from that Madison
Square gig in their show.
Now they are a tribute band that are as authentic as possible,
and dress up in all the right clothes and have the correct
So he wanted it with a natural finish and a thin lacquer to
replicate John Lennonís model at the Madison Square garden
So hereís the guitar before... Very
nice to play and quite heavy for a Junior,
with the the pickup.. Itís quite large!
So the first thing I did was design
and route a cavity for the pickup in question. The idea being
that most of it is hidden under the pickguard
and the top of the pickup is flush with the top of the cavity.
Then I removed and plugged the wraparound bridge bushing holes (using mahogany
dowels I made myself ) (Fig
5.) This was followed by the holes for
the the new tune-o-matic and stoptail and the toggle
switch (Fig. 6) and the wiring channels from the toggle
switch all the way to the control cavity (Fig. 7)
Then I sanded the whole thing down and stained it to what I thought was the best colour
And here it is done and drying before I lacquer it
Then time to get my spraying gear on
Then it was sprayed it with 20 coats of nitro-cellulose paint
Then after 3 weeks curing time I buffed it up
Then I did all the wiring and put it all back together
again and we have the finished product.
And here is Clark aka John with his finished product, and his Madison Square
jacket and glasses.
If your interested you can find out more about Them
Beatles here http://www.thembeatles.com/
guitars first gig was the Friday just gone at the Liverpool
Philharmonic headlining Beatles Week
As I say, I will have a full and more detailed video up soon
WITH the guitar playing
Well I hope you enjoyed.. More on my own builds very soon
which you can read here†
And finally heres
a quick vid when Clark played it for the first time.
Sadly I didnít get the footage of him playing it plugged in.
But im still hoping
for that one day.
for reading and I hope you enjoy.