John Lennon Junior Build

Indroduction & 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 Lennon Model.

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 place.

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
Fig 3:

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 in 1972

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 in Fig.3.

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 guitars etc..

So he wanted it with a natural finish and a thin lacquer to replicate John Lennonís model at the Madison Square garden gig.

The Build

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. (Fig 4)

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)

Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig .6
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

Apparently the 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.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

By Rabs† Ö..