The International Beatleweek 2014 opens today in Liverpool, home of Dolphin Music! The event is an yearly reminder - if any were needed - that The Beatles remain the most popular rock'n'roll band in the world, ever. And, of course, as they continue to inspire generations of musicians worldwide, the interest for Beatles gear remains as great as ever. Here's our Top 5 Guitars for those who want to sound (and look!) like the Fab Four...
1) Epiphone EJ-160e Electro-Acoustic Guitar
WHY? This is "the" John Lennon acoustic to go for, an affordable version of the more expensive Gibson J-160e, but which still sounds great. One of the first things John and George bought as soon as they got their record deal, was a Gibson J-160e each, and in most live performances where they play acoustic guitars, their J-160e can be seen. George eventually moved on to other acoustics, but this is the main acoustic guitar John Lennon used from 1962 to 1970.
KEY TRACK: 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away'
MORE DETAILS: Epiphone EJ-160e Acoustic Guitar
2) Gretsch G6122 - 1962 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman
WHY? The guitar George Harrison played during the first Beatles US visit, at the Ed Sullivan show. Sure, rock'n'roll existed before The Beatles, and great guitarists too. But The Beatles at Ed Sullivan was the dawn of a new era. Year Zero. The Rock'n'Roll age had truly arrived. The irony, though: George was a big country music fan, and he played the Gretsch because he was a big Chet Atkins fan...
KEY TRACK: 'She Loves You'
WHY? Paul McCartney favourite acoustic guitar, throughout the years, up until today! If you went to a Beatles concert in 1965, you'd find Paul playing one. If you go to a Macca concert today, you'll see him playing one, too... possibly the very same one! This is the guitar he used (and still uses) on 'Yesterday'.
KEY TRACK: 'Yesterday', of course!
MORE DETAILS: Epiphone Texan Inspired by 1964 Antique Natural
4) Epiphone Casino
WHY? The Epiphone Casino was there at the birth of the Beatles new, revolutionary sound. It was the go-to guitar during the sessions for Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's. It's a very versatile guitar... from jazz to fuzzy rock'n'roll, this guitar can suit many different styles, so it's no wonder the Beatles just couldn't get enough of it during their most creative years. And it looks great, too...
KEY TRACK: 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'
MORE DETAILS: Epiphone Casino Electro-Acoustic Sunburst
5) Rickenbacker 360/12 Fireglo
WHY? It's the guitar George Harrison used in 'A Hard Day's Night'... one of the most distinctive chords in rock history. Magical. Enough said...
KEY TRACK: 'A Hard Day's Night'
MORE DETAILS: Rickenbacker 360/12 Fireglo 12 String Semi Acoustic Guitar
ALSO WORTH A MENTION:
Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Bass VI
WHY? This is an instrument that intrigued many Beatles fans when it first appeared, on The Beatles promo for 'Hey Jude'. What was that cool guitar George Harrison was playing? Despite having 6 strings and looking a lot like a Fender Jaguar, it was actually a 6-string bass guitar, capable of a quite different range of sounds, and particularly suited for guitarists who'd like to play bass. the Squier version is a modern update and quite affordable, too!
KEY TRACK: 'Hey Jude'
MORE DETAILS: Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Bass VI Candy Apple
OTHER RECOMENDED "FAB FOUR" GEAR:
VOX AC30 Amp
Check the Vox AC30VR, an affordable version of the classic amp the Beatles used in their early years. Classic 1960s British tones, still popular today.