JOHN LENNON'S 325 RESTORATION--WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

Exceptional restoration is in the details

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scoobster28
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Post by scoobster28 »

johnhall wrote:There's some very specific info circulating on this topic that's just too detailed to ignore. We're talking about important names, dates, specific circumstances, independent sources, and motives.

I really hope someday some of the parties involved will step out of the shadows. The most important one will need an English translator, however.
Bumping up a really old thread, but in light of the passage of time does anyone have more information on Lennon's first 325 and where it is today. And is it available to view publicly?
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Re: JOHN LENNON'S 325 RESTORATION--WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

Post by simer4001 »

I believe both his 325’s are at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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Re: JOHN LENNON'S 325 RESTORATION--WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

Post by simer4001 »

Paul, if you recall I reached out to Yoko to try and get her to restore his 325’s properly. To no avail.
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Re: JOHN LENNON'S 325 RESTORATION--WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

Post by Faith1 »

Where as fakes, copies or clones of the 58 is not beyond the realm of possibilities. Wood grain will be a dead give away; that any of those instruments are not the John played Rickenbacker. I’m not convinced this was ever done, as one will have to get the grain to match as exact as possible; else wise the illusion is shattered. Wood being organic, such an exacting match could take lifetimes to perfect. Not to mention various trademarks and patents one would have to get various permissions to do all this stuff, as in the case of the Ric branding in the tuners or having the Bigsby remade because John’s is 3% smaller then U.S. made B5’s. As for why it might be done. It could have been for insurance reasons or perhaps to play a shell game with potential thieves and other ne’er do wells. I can think of a few other reasons. This guitar could well be worth millions to a private collector. The catch would be you could never tell anyone you had it. Ever. I find the idea of such items intriguing. Too many people would know these Yokobackers were being made to keep it a secret. It would appear on somebody’s books as ordered parts or lumber. It could even be conversations about wiring or truss rod material. That said, if I were to have those Yokobackers made, Japan is one of the few places in the World I’d go to do it.

Paul as good as your thesis is, it may still lack consideration of all the variables. The photograph of the the 58 was taken when people were still using film. The film’s chrome has a big impact on how the finished shot looks to say nothing of the chemicals on the photo paper. Having a neutral chroma key would have helped a great deal also. The lightings tint will also impact the result, yellow light or white lighting. Some of these elements would figure massively in to the equation, others not so much. Alas these are variables never the less.

I most certainly do think the wood has patinated. It’s plausible the dust or discolouration you noted by the bridge and other places could be air pockets where the finish is separating from the guitar. I have three Ric’s at present two of them have such separations due to expansion and contractions. My Ric’s are of various age, those separations are in various locations.

It’s my understanding the last refurbishment was meant to get the 58 back to “show room fresh” condition. Since Mister DiMarino through no fault of his own; didn’t comply with those wishes such a refurbishment could still be on the table as it meets the letter and spirit of what John said.

I’ll make no argument against this instrument being preserved. (At the very least with a golden pick plate alas, My wishes don’t amount to a hill of beans.) It should I think be well cared for with it being taken out regularly for cleaning and restringing. Perhaps having the rust dealt with; as that is metal returning to the Earth.


The only way to know for sure, the only way to know for certain is to ask Yoko to inspect and photograph the 58 in detail. Which now with high resolution photographs would be advantageous for those seeking to preserve what the 58 looks like today.
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Re: JOHN LENNON'S 325 RESTORATION--WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

Post by jingle_jangle »

simer4001 wrote:Paul, if you recall I reached out to Yoko to try and get her to restore his 325’s properly. To no avail.
Yep. Never heard from her. I don't imagine that this is particularly high on this elderly lady's priorities these days...
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Re: JOHN LENNON'S 325 RESTORATION--WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

Post by jingle_jangle »

Faith1 wrote:Where as fakes, copies or clones of the 58 is not beyond the realm of possibilities. Wood grain will be a dead give away; that any of those instruments are not the John played Rickenbacker. I’m not convinced this was ever done, as one will have to get the grain to match as exact as possible; else wise the illusion is shattered. Wood being organic, such an exacting match could take lifetimes to perfect. Not to mention various trademarks and patents one would have to get various permissions to do all this stuff, as in the case of the Ric branding in the tuners or having the Bigsby remade because John’s is 3% smaller then U.S. made B5’s. As for why it might be done. It could have been for insurance reasons or perhaps to play a shell game with potential thieves and other ne’er do wells. I can think of a few other reasons. This guitar could well be worth millions to a private collector. The catch would be you could never tell anyone you had it. Ever. I find the idea of such items intriguing. Too many people would know these Yokobackers were being made to keep it a secret. It would appear on somebody’s books as ordered parts or lumber. It could even be conversations about wiring or truss rod material. That said, if I were to have those Yokobackers made, Japan is one of the few places in the World I’d go to do it.

Paul as good as your thesis is, it may still lack consideration of all the variables. The photograph of the the 58 was taken when people were still using film. The film’s chrome has a big impact on how the finished shot looks to say nothing of the chemicals on the photo paper. Having a neutral chroma key would have helped a great deal also. The lightings tint will also impact the result, yellow light or white lighting. Some of these elements would figure massively in to the equation, others not so much. Alas these are variables never the less.

I most certainly do think the wood has patinated. It’s plausible the dust or discolouration you noted by the bridge and other places could be air pockets where the finish is separating from the guitar. I have three Ric’s at present two of them have such separations due to expansion and contractions. My Ric’s are of various age, those separations are in various locations.

It’s my understanding the last refurbishment was meant to get the 58 back to “show room fresh” condition. Since Mister DiMarino through no fault of his own; didn’t comply with those wishes such a refurbishment could still be on the table as it meets the letter and spirit of what John said.

I’ll make no argument against this instrument being preserved. (At the very least with a golden pick plate alas, My wishes don’t amount to a hill of beans.) It should I think be well cared for with it being taken out regularly for cleaning and restringing. Perhaps having the rust dealt with; as that is metal returning to the Earth.


The only way to know for sure, the only way to know for certain is to ask Yoko to inspect and photograph the 58 in detail. Which now with high resolution photographs would be advantageous for those seeking to preserve what the 58 looks like today.

David--thanks for this, your first post!

I will be the first to admit that my response was quite aggressive, but after reading it and your points, I think the answer is 2/3 me and 1/3 you. We can agree, I'm sure, that neither DiMarino not JL gave more than a hoot and a holler about the instrument's future legendary status. They both probably would be shocked at the current state of the Beatles memorabilia situation. These days it might lead them to a more sympathetic restoration. I, too, think that the gold guard is the way to go. This would have required DiMarino to back-paint a piece of acrylic in gold, which meant matching the color (did he have the knowledge of the Crescent Bronze palette and which pf two dozen powders to use? Was he willing to go to this bother back then? It also would require a nearly dust-free spray environment--something very few luthiers take the trouble to create.) Easier to buy a square foot of white acrylic and replicate the guard out of that.

Incidentally, I have had a DiMarino replica Lennon pick guard pass through my hands in creating a Lennon replica for a very particular client in Texas, and I don't know where DiMarino got the gold paint, but it was not even close in matching and not very carefully applied. It was rubber stamped on the back with DiMarino's contact info. I'm sure this was made years after the first "restoration", using the original gold guard as a sample. How do I know it wasn't a good match? Because I have over a half-dozen original '59 and '60 Capri guards that I removed from instruments that were parted out...
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Re: JOHN LENNON'S 325 RESTORATION--WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

Post by Ontario_RIC_fan »

I understand that all of the Beatles guitars were recently photographed for the upcoming Martin Kelly Rickenbacker book.

Be curious to see what they look like in 2021.
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Re: JOHN LENNON'S 325 RESTORATION--WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

Post by collin »

Let me whisper words of wisdom — let it be. :)

Seriously, it would be certifiably insane to restore any of the Beatles’ guitars, at this point. Apart from making them functional (neck reset or similar) anything else would detract from the history of these instruments. These are historical artifacts, and a restoration wouldn’t make them original again.
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Re: JOHN LENNON'S 325 RESTORATION--WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

Post by iiipopes »

collin wrote:Let me whisper words of wisdom — let it be. :)

Seriously, it would be certifiably insane to restore any of the Beatles’ guitars, at this point. Apart from making them functional (neck reset or similar) anything else would detract from the history of these instruments. These are historical artifacts, and a restoration wouldn’t make them original again.
This. ^ Take a lesson from all the Stradivarious instruments still in circulation: new necks, new fingerboards, new tops, repaired bracings etc. Yes, there is the point of view that these are instruments to be played, and not relegated to museums. The difference here is that a Stradivarious instrument that is playable today does not sound like it did when it was new, and can't, and it can't even be extrapolated with certainty. We are not far enough removed from when these instruments were new, or last modified with the players most associated with them, to try to get them to do what they used to do. Unlike ice age maple and spruce, these instruments are pretty much reproduceable.
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Re: JOHN LENNON'S 325 RESTORATION--WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

Post by collin »

Yep pretty much.

And let’s be real - there aren’t any sounds that V81 could produce that can’t be replicated to 100% accuracy with a C58 reissue in the same capable hands. A restoration on any Beatle instrument would be wasting the history it does have in pursuit of an artificial history. Purely for vanity and cosmetics, with no added benefit beyond making something look pretty.

These are not Stradivarius cellos, and a restoration would not serve these instruments in the same way (I.e. for the purposes of functionality).
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