Help! Comes to Blue-RayOne of the and most requested signature models in the Epiphone arsenal is the acoustic/electric John Lennon EJ-160E, a classic shape that originated at the shared factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan and was a staple of Beatle music throughout their recording career.  George Harrison and John purchased matching Gibson models after The Beatles signed their contract with EMI in 1962.

The "160" style acoustic/electric with a P-90 pickup was in fact the only guitar to appear on every Beatle album. You can see John's in action in the Blue-Ray edition of Help!, coming out this summer.  Help!, released in 1965, was The Beatles' second feature film directed by Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night, Three Musketeers) that in both style and feel pre-dated Monty Python in its spoofy James Bond-Dada-esque anti-plot involving sacrificial rings, cryptic Indian folklore, and a debate on the value of a one-armed drummer, not to mention two goof ball scientists who bear a striking resemblance to Pinky and the Brain as they struggle to capture The Beatles with a fuse-blowing matter/anti-matter magnet of death ("flip the switch!").  Confused? Welcome to Help!.

Help! Comes to Blue-Ray

Of course, the songs were great. Help! was a transitional album in many ways. It saw The Beatles writing elliptical if not existential pop music that showed a debt to Bob Dylan, Edna O'Brien, and swinging London.  The quartet traded their London-tailored suits for suede jackets and jeans. They got louder thanks to their Casinos. And more experimental, too,  as they sought to distance themselves from the dozens of copycat bands producing Beatle-sounding singles within days of the Beatles' own records.  Help! might be the last carefree Beatle moment on film ("I don't even remember making Help!," John Lennon later said) but it's undeniably fun--and very British to boot. And if you play along with an EJ-160E, you'll be quite surprised at how Beatley it sounds.

So does the Epiphone Texan which was used to record "Yesterday" also on the Help! soundtrack, the second-to-last song on the B-side. Right before Larry Williams' "Dizzy Miss Lizzy."