Vintage Guitar Magazine: The Beatles’ Casinos

Beatles Boarder

John Lennon with his Epiphone Casino in December, 1968, on the set of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus.”

Of all the guitars the Beatles made famous, the only one that John, Paul and George had in common was the Epiphone Casino. Each owned a Casino and used it for countless recordings and performances.

Paul McCartney was the first Beatle to acquire a Casino. Influenced to purchase it by his friend, blues musician John Mayall, McCartney said, “You’d go back to his place and he’d sit you down, give you a drink, and say, ‘Just check this out.’ He’d go over to his [tape] deck, and for hours blast you with B.B. King, Eric Clapton… he was sort of showing me where all of Eric’s stuff was from. He gave me a little evening’s education. I was turned on after that, and [bought] an Epiphone.” Mayall recalls the late-night record sessions. “I showed him my hollowbody guitar that I’d bought when I was in the army in Japan in 1955. When people get together and listen to records, they talk about all kinds of things related to the music, so obviously we must have touched upon the instruments and it struck home. He got a hollowbody after to get that tone.”

The Epiphone Casino ES-230TD that McCartney purchased at the end of ’64 has an early-style Gibson-design headstock rather than Epiphone’s later hourglass-shaped headstock. Photographs taken in December of ’64, during rehearsals for the Beatles’ Christmas performances at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, show Paul playing a new Epiphone Casino still strung right-handed. Another picture shows McCartney and Harrison examining the right-handed Casino, evidently discussing how they would alter the guitar so the left-handed McCartney could use it.

McCartney’s sunburst Casino has serial number 84075, and according to Gibson’s records shipped November 1, 1962. McCartney altered it for playing left-handed, turning the guitar upside down, re-stringing it, and modifying the bridge for correct intonation. A strap button was added to now-inverted upper treble bout. McCartney used his Casino extensively in the studio with The Beatles, including the memorable lead-guitar break on “Ticket To Ride.” He also used it throughout his solo career, and still owns the guitar.

Paul McCartney’s and John Lennon’s Epiphone Casinos.

In the spring of ’66, during recording sessions for Revolver, John Lennon and George Harrison decided to join the Casino club. The most obvious difference between these two virtually identical guitars was Harrison’s had a Bigsby vibrato, while Lennon’s had the standard Epiphone “trapeze” tail. Lennon’s was unusual in that it had a small black ring mounted around its pickup selector switch. Both had the more common Epiphone-style headstock and were fitted with gold-colored Volume and Tone knobs.

The first time Lennon and Harrison performed with their almost-matching Casinos was when The Beatles made an appearance on the popular British TV show “Top Of The Pops.” On June 16, 1966, they entered BBC’s London studios to mime both sides of their new single, “Rain” and “Paperback Writer.”

As the group started its ’66 tour of Germany, Japan, and the U.S., Lennon and Harrison chose the Casinos as their main instruments for the tour.

By ’67, The Beatles embarked on the sessions that would produce their masterpiece album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Present and used throughout were all three Casinos. And it was during these sessions that Lennon painted his by spraying a white or grey outline on back of the body and neck.

In early ’68, The Beatles headed to Rishikesh, India, to study transcendental meditation with The Maharishi and friends, including Donovan Leitch. There, Donovan convinced the trio to sand the finish off their instruments, telling them how a guitar sounds better without a heavy finish. After returning to London, during sessions for the self-titled “white album,” Lennon and Harrison sanded their Casinos. Lennon primarily played his newly stripped Casino for the sessions. Harrison said that once they’d removed the finish, they became much better guitars. “I think that works on a lot of guitars,” he explained. “If you take the paint and varnish off and get the bare wood, it seems to sort of breathe.” With the completion of the white album, promo clips were filmed for the single “Revolution”/“Hey Jude.” The clips showed Lennon using his natural Casino.

On December 11, 1968, Lennon appeared as a special guest for the filming of The Rolling Stones’ television special, “Rock ’n’ Roll Circus,” which included a memorable performance by the supergroup Dirty Mac, whose members included Eric Clapton on guitar, Keith Richards on bass, Mitch Mitchell on drums, and Lennon playing his Casino. Dirty Mac’s legendary performance of “Yer Blues” was one of the show’s highlights.

Lennon continued to use his Casino during the Beatles’ “Get Back”/“Let It Be” filming and recording sessions. On January 30, 1969, filming climaxed with The Beatles’ celebrated performance on the rooftop of their Apple Corps office building, in London. It was the last public performance given by The Beatles as a band and was documented by a slew of film cameras and still photographers – and an 8-track tape recorder rolling in the Apple basement studio. Lennon played his Casino.

The last studio effort found the Beatles back at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, where they recorded their swan song, Abbey Road. “The End” was intended to be the last song on Abbey Road, and gives the listener an all-too-brief glimpse of a great three-way guitar duel. McCartney, Harrison, and Lennon, in that order, each take a two-bar solo, cycling around three times. McCartney used his Casino, Harrison’s work is pure wailing Gibson Les Paul, and Lennon makes an aggressive, distorted howl with his Casino.

John, Paul, and George would continue to use their Casinos on numerous solo projects and recordings. McCartney still uses his, even referring to it as his favorite electric. “If I had to choose one electric guitar, it would be this,” he said.


Andy Babiuk is the author of Beatles Gear, which was recently released in a newly revised edition. He is also author of The Story of Paul Bigsby: Father of the Modern Electric Solidbody Guitar and with Greg Prevost is preparing Stones Gear, a history of the equipment used by the Rolling Stones. He can be reached at andy@tonebendermusic.com.


’66 Epiphone Casino

By George Gruhn & Walter Carter

1966  Epiphone Casino

In the Epiphone line of the 1960s, the Casino occupied middle ground. In appearance as well as electronics it ranked well below the semi-hollow Sheraton and Riviera or the solidbody Crestwood Custom. But thanks to the Beatles, it is probably the best-known of all Gibson-made Epi models.

Like most of the Epiphone line of the ’60s, the Casino bore little resemblance to the Epiphones of a decade earlier, much less the ’30s archtops on which the company had built its reputation (be sure to read the feature on the Epi harp guitar in this issue).

With roots in Greece and Turkey, Epiphone was founded as the House of Stathopoulo in the early 1900s. Epaminondas “Epi” Stathopoulo, one of the founder’s three sons, led the company to a prominent position in the tenor-banjo market of the ’20s (an era in which Gibson struggled to develop a competitive banjo model). Epi had the foresight to recognize the rising popularity of the guitar in the late ’20s and, in particular, the role the archtop guitar – an instrument invented by and produced almost exclusively by Gibson – would play in popular music of the coming years.

In 1931, Epiphone attacked Gibson’s dominance with a line of archtops called Masterbilt, playing on the notoriety of Gibson’s L-5 “Master Model.” Gibson responded with more and larger models, and Epi countered with an even larger model. The competition extended to the electric line, where in 1937 Epiphone introduced a pickup with individually adjustable pole pieces, and Gibson followed suit in 1940.

During the production hiatus for World War II, Epi Stathopoulo died of leukemia, and when guitar production resumed after the war, the company struggled. Its six-pushbutton pickup selector system on the three-pickup Emperor was an arguable improvement over the six knobs Gibson used on its three-pickup ES-5, but in most areas of the market, Epiphone lagged behind Gibson. Epi’s brothers were unable to bring the company back to its pre-war prominence, and in ’57 they sold Epiphone to the Chicago Musical Instrument Company, Gibson’s parent.

Ted McCarty, general manager of Gibson, viewed Epiphone as an opportunity for Gibson to expand its dealer network while maintaining territorial exclusivity for existing Gibson dealers. McCarty continued some of Epiphone’s archtop models in the new lineup, and other Epi features, such as multi-ply necks and metal-covered single-coil pickups, also provided continuity between the old Epis and the Gibson Epis. However, most models in the Gibson-made line were completely new.

Gibson had been making thinline electric guitars since 1955 (the Stathopoulos had never introduced a thinline Epiphone), and Gibson introduced the thinline double-cutaway, semi-hollow ES-335 in 1958. Almost concurrently, a similar (and fancier) model appeared in the Epi line – the Sheraton. A year later, Gibson introduced a stepped-down model with the same body shape but with a fully hollow body and single-coil pickups, called the ES-330. In ’61, a model similar to the Gibson ES-330 showed up in the Epiphone line as the Casino.

Structurally, the Casino was the same as the ES-330, with a thinline, double-cutaway hollow body. Functionally, too, it was the same guitar, with one or two “dog-ear” P-90 pickups (with black covers), a Tune-O-Matic bridge, and a trapeze tailpiece. A vibrato was optional. Cosmetically, both models had single-ply binding on the top, back, and fingerboard, pearl dot fingerboard inlays, and an inlaid peghead logo with no other ornamental peghead inlay. The Casino was offered in sunburst or Royal Tan finish while the ES-330 was offered in sunburst or natural.

When Gibson upgraded the ES-330 in ’62 with chrome-plated pickup covers and small block fingerboard inlays, the Casino was also upgraded to chrome-plated pickup covers and single-parallelogram inlays (a pattern not standard on any Gibson).

Gibson designed the Epiphone line to have prices slightly below the equivalent Gibsons, but the only significant difference between the standard Casino and the ES-330 was the brand name. In ’63, Gibson apparently valued the Gibson brand at $15 more than Epiphone. The two-pickup Casino listed that year for $275 and the sunburst ES-330 was $290 (Cherry finish, which had replaced natural, was $305).

Despite the lower prestige of the Epiphone name, the Casino actually topped its Gibson counterpart slightly when it came to the vibrato. The Epiphone vibrato had an anchor bar with a graduated diameter to compensate for the different string diameters. The result was a more consistent pitch change across the strings. Whether the improvement was noticeable to the ears of listeners is arguable, but the Epi-style unit at least had the appearance of an improvement over the simple U-shaped spring design of the Gibson “Maestro” unit, and the Epi unit was not offered on any Gibson model. In fact, the 1963 catalog did not offer any kind of vibrato as an option on the ES-330, while the vibrato-equipped Casino remained a catalog model.

The relative merits of the Casino and the ES-330 – and most other Epis and Gibsons models, for that matter – became irrelevant when Casinos appeared in the hands of the Beatles. Paul McCartney bought a sunburst in 1964, and John Lennon and George Harrison each bought sunbursts in ’65. In ’67, Harrison played his Casino equipped with a Bigsby on a video for “Hello Goodbye,” and Lennon played his on a TV broadcast of “All You Need Is Love.” By September ’68, when the group appeared on the BBC show “Top of the Pops,” Lennon had scraped the finish off his Casino, and Harrison did the same to his shortly thereafter. Lennon played this now-natural Casino on the Beatles’ final appearance together on January 30, 1969, on the rooftop of the Apple building.

If the Beatles had any influence at all on Epiphone sales, it was too little, too late. Through the ’60s, Epiphone sold more than 6,700 Casinos – more than double the sales of any other model – but that was not enough to save it. By the end of ’69, Gibson had scrapped the entire Epiphone line and replaced it with a new line imported from Japan. By the time the Beatles’ rooftop performance was seen by the public in the film documentary Let It Be, it was May 1970, and nothing in the Epiphone line resembled a Casino.

Advertisements

Epiphone Casino – the official story for 2014

The long winding road of a rock maverick

The Epiphone Casino

The Epiphone Casino might be the House of Stathopoulo’s most iconic instrument thanks to its association with The Beatles. In fact, two Kalamazoo designed guitars–the J-160EThe Epiphone Casinoacoustic/electric (which you can get today as the Epiphone John Lennon EJ-160E and the Epiphone Casino–together share the distinction of being the only two guitars heard on every Beatles recording session.

But over the last decade thanks to a diverse group of artists like Gary Clark Jr., Radiohead, Paul Weller, and Brendan Benson of the Raconteurs, the Epiphone Casino has transcended its Beatle connection and become a must-have for any player’s collection.

Though the Casino, first released in 1961, was essentially Epiphone’s version of the Gibson ES-330, the Gibson version never caught on like the Casino. Whether it was the times or the number of instruments produced, the Casino–a full hollowbody with two P-90s (another Kalamazoo invention)–was destined to be thought of as an Epiphone classic. And like any great guitar–by design or by accident–it’s perfect just the way it is.

The Epiphone Casino

Today, Epiphone makes Casinos just as they did at the Kalamazoo factory in 60s. “Our modern Casino is based on the best vintage models we could find,” said Epiphone President Jim Rosenberg. “The only difference is that today, every Casino is consistently great–perfect neck, great sound, and great look, where as vintage models can be vary quite a bit.”

In 1961, the Casino was merely another instrument in a series of “Thinline” electrics first introduced in the late 50s that helped announce a new era for Epiphone after it became part The Epiphone Casinoof Gibson brands and moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan. The idea of a Thinline electric that had the look of an archtop was not that much of a departure for Epiphone since the company had established a stellar reputation (much to the annoyance of Gibson) as an excellent archtop builder. But where as most of the original Thinline series like the Sheraton and the 335 featured a mahogany center block on which the pickups were mounted the Casino held the distinction of being a true hollowbody. It was also less expensive than other Gibson Thinline models, which caught the attention of young rockers like Garry Tallent, future bassist of the E Street Band.

“Epiphones were great guitars back then and affordable,” recalled Tallent. “Even today, whenever I go to a guitar show, if I see an Epiphone electric or acoustic that’s in great shape, I get it. They always sound perfect.”

As for just who originated the Thinline series, that remains somewhat of a mystery. “There were other companies at the time like National who were making something similar,” said Walter Carter who published The Epiphone Guitar Book, a history of Epipohne, in 2013. “If it were Ted McCarty’s idea he certainly would have taken credit for it (laughs). But the Casino’s popularity in particular had mostly to do with The Beatles. It was and is a great guitar for rock and roll with a different sound.”

The Epiphone Casino

Epiphone re-created the original (1961) Casino in 2011 with the same 16″ wide body made of 5-layer Maple/Birch and a 24-3/4″ scale mahogany SlimTaper™ neck with a Rosewood fingerboard attached using the traditional mortise and tenon neck joint. The 50th anniversary Casino also featured black Gibson USA P-90 pickups and a slightly modified Tremotone tremolo that works much better than the original. Epiphone’s 50th Anniversary Casino (a favorite touring guitar for Gary Clark Jr.) also featured 16 frets clear of the body and came in a Sunburst or Royal Tan finish.

Over the next few years, there were small changes made to the Casino. Epiphone moved away from the “bullet” logo in 1962 to the pearloid-inlaid Epiphone script logo that remains The Epiphone Casinotoday. During the time that Paul McCartney purchased his Casino in 1964 and John Lennon and George Harrison purchased their Casinos before the Revolver tour in 1966, fingerboard inlays changed from dot to parallelogram inlays and the tortoise shell pickguard changed to white. Pickup covers, which were nickel from 1963-1964, changed to chrome.

The Beatles discovery of the Casino came just before Christmas in 1964. McCartney told Vintage Guitar that he was inspired to buy a guitar that could “feedback” after he spent an evening at John Mayhall’s house listening to records. “You’d go back to his place and he’d sit you down, give you a drink, and say, ‘Just check this out,'” said McCartney.

“He’d go over to his [tape] deck, and for hours blast you with B.B. King, Eric Clapton… he was sort of showing me where all of Eric’s stuff was from. He gave me a little evening’s education. I was turned on after that, and [bought] an Epiphone.”

John Mayall probably played McCartney cuts by B.B. King as well as razor sharp 45s on Cobra Records by Magic Sam and Otis Rush, both regular Epiphone players. “I showed him (McCartney) my hollowbody guitar that I’d bought when I was in the army in Japan in 1955,” Mayall told Vintage Guitar. “When people get together and listen to records, they talk about all kinds of things related to the music, so obviously we must have touched upon the instruments and it struck home. He got a hollowbody after to get that tone.”

Recording feedback was already a part of The Beatles sound at this point with the release of “I Feel Fine,” which was recorded in October 1964 and was inspired by John’s 160E feeding back against an amp. The Epiphone could feedback too, but thanks to smaller body size, a guitarist could more easily control the tone and “howl” of the feedback by turning the Casino away from an amp or “playing” the feedback with the guitar’s volume and tone controls.

The Epiphone CasinoMcCartney still brings out his original 1963 Epiphone (shipped from Kalamazoo, Michigan on November 1, 1963) in concert for “Paperback Writer” and select cuts from Sgt. Pepper. Radiohead Producer Nigel Godrich, whose pal Thom Yorke plays a 1965 Casino, singled out McCartney’s Casino as his favorite guitar while producing Chaos and Creation In the Backyard. “If I had to choose one electric guitar,” said McCartney, “it would be this.”

McCartney’s Casino or ES-230TD, featured an early Gibson-style headstock that would be changed to the classic Epiphone “hourglass” headstock by the time George and John bought their Casino’s (George’s, like Paul’s, featured a Bigsby tremolo).

Most Casinos made from the mid ’60s to the end of the decade were Sunburst though Cherry was also an optional finish after 1967. Critically acclaimed Nashville pop artist Tristen plays one of those rare Cherry Casinos (a ’67) in concert. There are also a few rare custom colored Casinos that show up from time to time, including one in Silver Fox that is Brian Ray’s favorite guitar. “It’s black with “TV” yellow grain showing finish. A kind of translucent black. I’ve never seen another one like it,” Ray told Epiphone. “I dare you to find one like it. You’ll find a Rivera but you won’t find a Casino. They’re so rare. People need to know the whole history of Epiphone. It didn’t just start with The Beatles. Epiphone is awesome and the world needs to know about it.”

In the heyday of the British Invasion, the Casino was also Rolling Stone Keith Richards’ main guitar (who used his to record “Satisfaction”) and Brian Jones can be seen playing one on the cover of the reissue EP of Got Live If You Want It. There are also tv clips of The Hollies, The Kinks, and the Moody Blues using their Casinos on shows like Ready, Steady, Go!

The Casino was discontinued throughout the 70s and when Epiphone got back into action in the 90s, both vintage and new Casinos enjoyed a renaissance thanks to Paul Weller The Epiphone Casino(whose 1964 Casino is seen at right), Lenny Kravitz, Noel Gallagher of Oasis, U2’s the Edge, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Brendan Benson of the Raconteurs, instrumentalist William Tyler, and of course, Dwight Yoakam who has carried the flag for the Casino for years before designing his Dwight Trash Signature model.

“I always loved the aesthetics about the Casino. There’s something about the white pickguard as well as the sound… I really fell in love with it.”

P-90s are key to the Casino’s canny combination of chime and grit. The P-90 is a touch sensitive pickup by nature and is perfect for both lead and rhythm sounds. P-90s carry more “weight” sonically than the typical single coil pickup and have the effect of sounding especially “electric” when combined with the Casino body. Just listen to Beatle tracks like “Paperback Writer” and “She Said, She Said” to hear how nuanced a basic chord can sound when played on a Casino.

Gary Clark Jr. is probably today’s most outspoken and visible Casino fan. Over the last year alone Clark has been seen with both a standard Casino, an Elitist, and a ’61 50th anniversary model.

“I had my eyeballs on Casinos for a while until I finally got one,” Clark told Epiphone. “I just recently got two “Blak and Blu” Casinos which I’m so stuck on at the moment. They’re all so amazing. ‘Blak and Blu’ with a Bigsby! They’re a dream.”

Even if The Beatles had not discovered the Casino, the list of fans would still include virtually every major pop, country, blues, and rock artist of the last 50 years. “It’s really a perfect electric guitar,” said Jim Rosenberg, “it can be clean, it can be knarly and it sounds terrific at low volume and feeding back. And it’s a lot like Epiphone, too. A bit of a maverick.”

The Epiphone Casino

Ply me to the moon!

Brian Jones

The Epiphone Casino’s body is made from plywood, pressed into form in a heated press.

Originally the plywood in many of Gibson’s and Epiphone’s thinline-electrics from the 1950s wasn’t chosen as a means to produce a cheaper instrument. Instead the reason for the plywood construction was the resulting stiffer soundbox that is much less prone to feedback howl in an electric guitar, when compared to an all-solid, carved top guitar.

As Gibson’s and Epiphone’s vintage catalogues were even more vague in revealing constructional details than their Fender counterparts, there was – and still is – some disagreement between vintage buffs as to the number of laminations and types of woods used for vintage semi bodies:

There are some claims that the first batches of the Gibson ES-335 were built using three-ply maple, but most people agree that by 1959 all semis of the ES-335-family switched to four-ply maple with the two inner plies running crosswise to the outer plies. Here are some pictures of 1959 tops I found on the MyLesPaul-forum and ES-335-dot-net sites:

59_laminations

4-ply_Lamination

59_blond_laminations

For some strange reason – maybe out of cost consideration or ease-of-production – Gibson’s current range is built from a three-ply laminate made up of a thicker poplar core inside two thinner outer plies of maple:

laminations

There are some claims that Gibson even used mahogany as inner-ply material during the Seventies and Eighties.

****

Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 - Day 2 - Show

What does this mean for the Epiphone Casino?

The US-made models from 1961 to 1969 follow the specs of their Gibson ES-330 brethren closely, being virtual identical instruments produced at the same Kalamazoo plant.

Epiphone’s history during the Seventies and early Eighties is very hazy – the brand was used for imported Japanese instruments of very varying quality, and Epiphone was left to die a slow and silent death. There were some versions of the Casino produced during that time, but specifications and construction details vary greatly.

Paul McCartney 1966

In 1986 Gibson Guitars was saved from the brink of bankruptcy by new owners, and Epiphone was revived specifically as Gibson’s cost-conscious, made-in-the-Far-East sister brand.

Epiphone was a brand, but it didn’t have its own production facilities (up until the opening of their first Chinese plant in Qingdao in 2002). Instruments were sourced from a number of different manufacturers, mainly in South Korea. Epiphone ordered their models to their own specifications, and then chose different factories according to the type of instrument each factory could produce best.

This often resulted in the same model being produced at different plants (sometimes concurrently) over the years, resulting in different specs.

Even with their Chinese production facilities now bearing the brunt of Epiphone’s production, there is still some variance in Casino bodies, which can be either four- or five-ply maple, or even a five-ply laminate of maple/birch/maple/birch/maple.

For example the “Inspired by” Casinos sport noticeably thicker five-ply tops and backs than my own Korean Casino or most current (and vintage) Gibson models I have played. This means the acoustic tone of these Lennon-models is slightly less loud and open than Lennon’s original guitar probably is, but on the upside the slightly stiffer body of the new Chinese version is a bit more resistant to amplifier feedback than that of a vintage guitar.

450px-Paul_Weller_at_the_No_Cactus_Festival_in_Belgium

What is this?

1965 Epiphone Casino

This is a single-pickup version of the Epiphone Casino. This cheaper version was only produced in the 1960s, and hasn’t been reissued by the current Epiphone brand.

The pickup’s positioning in the middle between the end of the neck and the bridge never proved very popular. There was also a similar Gibson ES-330 in production during the same period.

What is the difference between a Casino and other semis?

ES-335

Gibson’s ES-335 – released in 1958, and pictured above – is the original semiacoustic electric guitar, the first of its kind.

Gibson’s then-president Theodore McCarty came up with the idea to combine a flat (“thinline”) hollow-body electric and a solid-body’s clearer tonality and resistance to feedback howling by inserting a solid-wood centre block into the body. The centre block runs from the neck joint all the way to the end pin, cutting the acoustic body in half, as well as dampening its acoustic resonance. The centre block also allows for use of solid-body hardware (i. e. the Tune-o-matic bridge and the stopbar).

Here’s a schematic of an ES-335 body, with the block marked out in brown:

Semi bodies.001

****

In 1959 Gibson broadened its model range by introducing three new models with the same body outline:

The stereophonic ES-345 and the top-of-the-line ES-355 shared their basic construction principles with the ES-335; they also had a solid centre block inside their bodies.

The third model, though, wasn’t actually a centre block-equipped semiacoustic at all, but a hollow-body, thinline guitar called the ES-330.

ES-330 1959

****

The Gibson ES-330 only features a traditional neck block, allowing for the neck to be glued into the body, and a small end block that helps to keep the rims together and gives you something to screw the trapeze tailpiece and strap pin into.

The neck of the ES-330 is set deeper into the body to lessen the neck’s pull on the short neck block.

The body looks something like this:

Semi bodies.002

****

Gibson had acquired their bankrupt East Coast competitor Epiphone in 1957, and set up a new Epiphone production line at their own factory in Kalamazoo (MI). They used this new brand to widen their customer base, as the two separate brands allowed them to double their outlets in the USA.

Although the Gibson-owned Epiphone company produced a number of their own designs, there were some instances in which Epiphone produced very similar guitar and bass models.

One of these instances was the semiacoustic model range with Gibson’s ES-335 being used as the template for Epiphone’s Riviera, and the ES-355 being given a sister model in the Epiphone Sheraton.

The Epiphone Casino was (and still is) Epi’s version of Gibson’s ES-330, and shares its hollow body. Thanks to the considerable exposure the Casino got through the Beatles in the mid-Sixties, this particular model has become more famous than Gibson’s original.

P_Casino-NA1