When I finished writing 'Beatles Gear' I knew that the job would never be over. There had to be more information out there about the Beatles equipment that had not been uncovered. I thought that one of the best ways to dredge up more information would be to encourage readers of the book to contact me with any information they might have to help further the search. Since the book's release, I have received hundreds of emails from Beatle enthusiasts about Beatle equipment. On this site I will be posting new findings as they come to light. Here are a few new bits to add to the Beatles Gear puzzle ...
George's Gibson SG Found!
George Harrison's Gibson SG that he used while with the Beatles has been found and identified. George had given the SG to Pete Ham of Badfinger in 1968. The group's rhythm guitarist Joey Molland told a story that the guitar was sold at a garage sale in the States by Pete's wife after Ham's death in the 1970's. Apparently Molland's story is just that, because Pete Ham actually gave the guitar to his brother John Ham who has had it ever since. The guitar was recently examined and photographed at John's home in Wales for a second edition of "Beatles Gear" due out - October 2002. Arrangements were then made to have the guitar sent to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio where it is currently on display!
John Had a Vox AC-15!
Prior to the book's release over a dozen people contacted me about an important document that was said to exist at the Beatles Story museum situated in Liverpool's historic Albert Dock. While in Liverpool for the book launch, Tony Bacon and I went on a search for this document. Sure enough, we found a hire purchase receipt from Hessy's for John Lennon's Vox AC-15 similar to the hire purchase documents published in 'Beatles Gear'. This great find is packed with information and substantiates the fact that John Lennon did own a Vox AC-15 adding another vital piece to the great Beatles' equipment puzzle. But the same document also raises a few questions. The receipt shows that John Lennon purchased a Vox AC-15 on July 27th 1962 with Brian Epstein signing for the loan. On August 22nd 1962 The Beatles were rehearsing at the Cavern with their new drummer Ringo. The private rehearsals were photographed by Bill Connell and Les Chadwick, who worked for the Peter Kaye photo studio. The famed photographs, now owned by Apple, have been published time and again with one popular photo clearly showing the back panel of George Harrison's Vox AC-30 amp complete with the add on 'top boost' circuit. So John had a Vox AC-15 and George had an AC-30. But how long did that last? Throughout their span as Beatles, John and George (more often than not) would have matching equipment. Reading all that has been written about Lennon's personality, why would John settle for a lesser amp than George? After all it was John's band, wasn't it? Also the AC-15 document shows that Jennings paid off the hire purchase to Hessy's, could this have been to upgrade an amp for Lennon? Unfortunately there aren't many photographs of the back of Lennon's tan-coloured Vox amp to chronologically show how long he used the AC-15 before he switched to an AC-30. From the front the two models look very similar. This is just a bit more information for Beatle buffs to ponder and debate. Hopefully someone someday will turn up a bunch of great unseen photos of the back of Lennon's Vox AC-15! We'll be waiting ...
Paul's Lefty Jazz Bass!
Masayuki Nakagame a writer and fellow Beatle enthusiast from Japan contacted me with some great pictures of Paul McCartney in the studio during the White Album sessions playing a left handed Fender Jazz bass. Rumor had it that Paul used a lefty Fender Jazz bass while with the Beatles but I was never able to find accurate photographs to lend proof, so the rumor was left out of the book. Now with the photographic evidence we can say it as fact, Paul did use a left handed Fender Jazz bass with the Beatles. Great detective work Masayuki!
Which Selmer Was It?
Haruhiko Goto of Tokyo Japan emailed me about the book as he spotted a discrepancy in the Selmer amp model that Paul McCartney use in 1967. Haruhiko pointed out that the knob configuration on the Selmer amp Paul used was slightly different than that of a Selmer Zodiac, in fact Paul's amp was actually a Selmer Thunderbird model 50! Similar, but slightly different. Thanks to the skillful eye of - Mr. Goto!
Rickenbacker 325 12-String Serial Number
A Beatles Gear enthusiast recently took the opportunity to point out a misprint in the book. John Lennon's 325 12-string guitar's serial number is not DB 155. Please take note in your books, the correct serial number is DB 151. A slip-up during editing ... I should have caught this as I did spend quite a bit of time with this guitar when we photographed it at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Andy White's Drum Set
Drum stick collector and overall Beatle guy, Dennis Toll sent me a great letter that he received from session player Andy White. Dennis had asked White what kind of kit he used on the Beatles' session he played ... Andy's reply, "The drumset I used on "Love Me Do" was my own, and it was a four piece Ludwig black pearl finish. Funny enough the same sort of set Ringo eventually used." It is well known that Andy White endorsed Ajax drums but now we have it straight from the horse's mouth! Many thanks to Dennis!
Well that's the latest updates and I'm sure there is much more out there to find! So if you know of any other information related to the Beatles equipment yet uncovered please contact me. Till then, let's just say, It's all Fab Gear!