The gear used on stage by The Beatlez is the result of many years sourcing genuine 1960’s gear (or reissues) to help recreate the classic sounds of The Beatles. Along with our fully tailored costumes, we have more visual and sonic accuracy than many of the other Beatles tribute bands out there.
John Lennon (Scott McCarthy)
All of our John’s guitars are as authentic as possible to what John Lennon used during each Beatles era, as recreated by The Beatlez.
To cover songs from the 1963-64 period, John uses a Rickenbacker 325 re-issue of the genuine 1964 guitar that became an icon for Lennon. This is the re-issue of the guitar that replaced John Lennon’s original, hand painted Rickenbacker Capri.
For all acoustic and other relevant songs, our John uses a genuine John Lennon series Gibson J160E (1962 model). This is the same as the model that both John and George used throughout the 1960’s (George’s was stolen at one point).
For all songs from the 1965 – 66 Beatles era requiring electric guitar our John uses a re-issue 1965 Sunburst Epiphone Casino model. John, Paul and George each owned Epiphone Casino Guitars, Paul’s being bought some time before John’s and George’s. Our John’s Casino is identical to the original and is fitted with the correct genuine “trapeze” tailpiece.
For the final Beatles era of 1967 – 69, our John uses an original 1971 John Lennon signature series Natural Casino. This guitar is setup with all details as accurate as possible.
For all the Beatlez’ sets, our John uses an original 1970’s era, British made VOX AC30 guitar amp. The Vox AC30 model, designed and built by Jennings Musical Industries was the original Beatles workhorse amplifier, used both in the studio and live on stage.
Paul McCartney (Ben King)
True to McCartney form, our Paul plays a ’63 40th Anniversary re-issue, genuine Hofner Bass. Paul’s bass is fitted with Diamond “Cavern” bass humbucker pickups as used on Paul McCartney’s original 1961 “Cavern” Hofner model.
Paul’s Hofner Bass was synonymous with the Beatles’ image and 1960’s music. Over the years the Hofner, more so than any other image or instrument has come too symbolise the Beatles. Paul McCartney continued to use the Hofner as his main bass until 1966. Paul returned to the Hofner as his main bass guitar for the last two Beatles’ albums.
Our Paul also uses a Fire-Glo Rickenbacker 4001 Bass guitar similar to Paul McCartney’s 4001S Deluxe. Paul McCartney switched from the Hofner bass to using the Rickenbacker progressively throughout 1966-65. Once touring was complete Paul continued to use this bass (with some exceptions) for most studio work until recording of the Let It Be album.
Our Paul plays through a modern Labsystems VP300S Bass amp with valve pre amp. This is coupled with a Vox T60 Recreation Speaker cabinet. This cabinet is loaded with a 12″ and 15″ Speaker and is identical to the T60 Bass Cabinet used thoughout many of the iconic earlier Beatles recordings and is dressed with Vox grill cloth and badge.
In 2015, Ben King was formerly recognised as an endorsee of the legendary Hofner basses and is now featured on their international website.
George Harrison (Michael Burke)
George Harrison’s range of guitars played a massively important part in creating the Beatles’ sound.
For songs from the early Beatles era, our George plays a re-issue Gretsch, 6122 County Gentlemen guitar identical to George Harrison’s second Country Gent. Harrison played this iconic guitar on many of the Beatles most famous appearances including the Ed Sullivan Show and the Beatles world tour of 1964 (inc Australia).
The Beatlez’ second set featuring songs from the mid-60’s era, sees our George using a re-issue 1964 Sunburst Epiphone Casino. This vintage hollow body guitar is identical to that used by our John (and John Lennon alike) in all aspects except tailpiece. George Harrison’s Casino featured a B7 Bigsby Tremolo tailpiece, naturally our George’s guitar is also setup in this fashion.
For songs from both the 1963-64 and the 1965-66 era’s our George uses a Fire-Glo Rickenbacker 360-12. This 12 string guitar was is synonymous with George Harrison and the Beatles sound of the early to mid sixties. The guitar used by our George is identical to the first of the two Fire-Glo Rickenbacker 12 string guitars used during the sixties by George Harrison and features binding top and back, triangular inlays and a trapeze tail piece. This guitar is used for classics such as ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and ‘If I needed someone’.
For the 1967-69 era our George uses a Sonic Blue, Fender Stratocaster. This is identical to the 1961 ‘Strats’ purchased on John and George’s behalf by Mal Evens in 1965. Shortly after the Sgt. Pepper sessions George Harrison decided to paint his Sonic Blue Strat. His colourful, new look guitar, dubbed “Rocky” by Harrison has been faithfully re-created by the Beatlez down to the smallest details.
In addition to his extensive range of guitars, our George uses a Rogue electric Sitar to produce the genuine sitar sounds for songs such as Norwegian Wood.
Similar to our John, George uses a Vox AC-30 CCX amplifier to recreate the genuine Beatles guitar sound.
Ringo Starr (Dan Slater)
Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drum kit in Black Oyster Pearl finish is as iconic as the Yellow Submarine! When The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9, 1964, Ludwig encountered unprecedented demand for what became known as the ‘Ringo kit’. As the years go on, getting a genuine Ludwig kit from this era in original condition is quite challenging. Dan’s Beatlez kit is a genuine Ludwig made sometime during the ’60s that has been rewrapped at some stage to replicate its amazing original finish. Some of the lugs and hoops have been replaced due to rust. Vintage drums are an absolute pleasure to play and are just as great to listen to! Many drum companies now work tirelessly in attempt to recreate the sound and look of these wonderful kits.
In preparing the kit for The Beatlez shows, Dan installed a vintage Rail mount for the mounted tom, fitted a ‘bass drum anchor’ and finished off the front skin with a decal using the legendary ‘drop T’ Beatles font. Dan also uses the new Zildjian Avedis cymbals, which have been designed to sound like the very old Avedis cymbals!
If you’ve enjoyed reading about the gear used on stage by The Beatlez, you’ll love seeing it in person even more! Come and check it out for yourself at one of our upcoming shows.