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Inspired by John Lennon Colour?


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Apologies if this question has been posted before, but I could not find answers to this question by searching the forums.


I am interested in buying an Inspired by John Lennon Casino, and am intrigued and curious about what *appears* (from photos on the net) to be a colour change in the finish of the guitar.


I have a regular (bottom-of-the-line) Casino, in a colour which I would describe as a 'Tobacco burst'.


About 4 years ago, my cousin, living in the U.K., bought an 'Inspired by John Lennon' Casino (which, I think, he ordered from Germany).


My cousin's I.B.J.L.C. had a kind of red in the finish which seems to be the same colour as that of John's original Casino (if judging from photos is any guide), before he had it painted white, and then had it stripped down to the original wood finish/colour.


So, to my questions:

1. Has the colour of the 'Inspired By' changed?

2. If the answer to the above is 'Yes', is there any reliable/consistent source from which I could order one of the original colour (other than looking on ebay, and similar sites, and relying on chance to come across what I want), and if so, what is this source?

3. If Gibson (Epiphone) did change the colour, why?


Thanks for reading, and for any replies.

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I don't think there's any way to be sure that the sunburst finish on the guitar you are buying other than seeing it first, with your very own eyes.


1. You really rarely see two absolutely identical sunburst finished guitars. Even George Harrisons and John Lennons looked totally different. Sunburst finishes are applied by hand, and even if the paintjob would be identical every time it's still applied on naturally grown wood.


2. Photos nearly never show the exact colours. I took some pictures of my sheraton lately, and the sunburst finish looked at least slighly different on every picture, depending on angle, distance, camera settings and most importantly light. The red for example is only visible on pictures where I used the flash.


My friends ESP in "transparent smurf blue" as he calls it, looks extremly different even to the naked eye, depending on the actual light: Under bright light it's a really deep blue and the flame maple looks really beautiful, in dim light it's almost grey with the maple looking sort of "milky", and on some live pictures he showed me it appears to be pitch black... So don't trust photos!


I'm pretty sure the sunburst finish on the I.B.J.L.C will be similar to the one on John Lennons Casino, hence the name... ;) but I'm not so sure if it looks exactly the same. Imagine, no one has seen the original sunburst finish on Lennons Casino with their own eyes for 45 years. The only way to find out what it looked like is to look at photos. Over 45 year old photos. And as I said, you can't trust photos...

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They do vary like any other sunburst and I think it's just down to seeing it in person and liking it, or finding an online auction with lots of good quality pics.


Here's one that looks like a traditional tobacco sunburst, almost McCartneyesque




And another:




Here's one with the vintage Cherry Style but is it too much red for a "Lennon" Casino?




One from ebay:




IMO The best of the lot:



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Hi Stahlbiest anc clarkuss,

Many thanks for your replies, and for the photos.


While I appreciate what you say, Stahlbiest, about photos being an unreliable source of telling the colour of a guitar's finish, I think that that applies to whether one is looking for a very precise idea of the colour, and that is not what I am talking about - sorry, I should have made that clear in my post.


For example, the photos that clarkuss kindly posted reveal the same, basic colour, and even show some differences in finish (more red in one of them).


I am talking about a colour difference which is obvious, even in photos, and which I was able to immediately identify (1) as being different from the colour of the burst in my Casino, and which (2) was 'accurate' enough in the photos I saw of the IBJL Casino as to be immediately recognizable when I actually saw my cousin's IBJL 'in the flesh', several months later.


There is a photo of JL from 'The Beatles Monthly' which has a great flash photo which shows the colour very clearly (as a former professional photographer I can say that flash has the advantage of having the 'colour temperature' of daylight, which means that it shows how colours would look if viewed in daylight at about noon during an overcast day - i.e., a time when the cloud cover diffuses the light to provide even coverage of the subject).


Another interesting thing I remember about that 'Beatles Monthly' photo is that the finish on JL's Casino appeared to be matte, rather than glossy - my memory might be failing me here, though, or I might be influenced by the more matte finish on my cousin's Casino.


Thanks, again, for the replies.

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Nitro finishes on the 60s Casinos were thinner and less shiny and less reflective than the poly finishes on modern Casinos but not really matte or satin.


I think what you're experiencing about the colour is the same problem as you get with the Contemporary Series Hofner Violin basses.


The ones pictured for the promo images are the quintessential finish and some of the production models have that finish and some vary. That's why high end reissues are so expensive because every finish has to meet expectations. With the lower range models they don't seem to mind so much about a bit of variation. With casinos they can be a bit too tobacco/2tone and lack the thin line of red in the middle. With Hofner Violin basses they can go from anywhere from dark 2 tone to orange and yellow mix.


It might be true that they have changed the method or people doing the finishes which might result in variation. Who knows but the IBJL guitars don't have a consistent finish IMO.


Here is another picture: MIC Natural, MIK Unsung 2009 Vintage Sunburst, MIK Peerless 1997 Vintage Cherry Sunburst, 2006 Peerless Vintage sunburst. The first is the best for a "Lennon" finish, the second is too red and rosey, the 3rd is too "two-tone". All standard Casinos.



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The only major change to the burst pattern of this model was from the initial run ( however many years ago that was?) Until about a year in. The first run was almost black with no brown fade into a lighter shaded center. Ever since the second run they have had a 60's style burst.

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Hi Clarkuss,

Thanks, once again, for going to the trouble of posting photos of the Casinos.


The red that I was talking about is not a thin band, but is a very pronounced (in comparison to the photos that you posted) 'thick'/wide band of about 3 1/2 inches.


I will see if my cousin has any photos of his Casino so that I can post them.


Thanks, once again,

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