ADVERTISEMENT

I want to hold your 12 string: John Lennon’s lost guitar heads to auction

John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison in New York - 1964
John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison in New York - 1964 Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By David Mouriquand
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

The long-lost guitar, played by John Lennon, could set a new world record as "the highest-selling Beatles guitar."

ADVERTISEMENT

After spending the last 50 years in an attic, John Lennon’s famous 'Help!' guitar is headed to auction as part of the upcoming “Music Icons” sale at Julien’s Auctions on 29 and 30 May.

Both Lennon and George Harrison played the Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar while making the album and accompanying film Help!, as well as their 1965 album 'Rubber Soul'.

The guitar then went for a trip.

It ended up with Scottish singer-songwriter Gordon Waller, who was one-half of the duo Peter and Gordon, before being passed on a road manager. Fifty years later, it was discovered in an attic in the British countryside, while the original guitar case was found in the trash and rescued.

Auctioneers believe it could set a "new world record for the highest-selling Beatles guitar".

The Framus guitar currently has an estimated price of $600,000 to $800,000 (€561,000 - €748,000 approx.), but it’s expected to fetch far more than that and potentially surpass the $2.4 million (€2.2 million) price tag of Lennon’s Gibson J160E when it sold in 2015.

Lennon's lost guitar on display in London ahead of the auction
Lennon's lost guitar on display in London ahead of the auctionAP

Darren Julien, co-founder and executive director of Julien’s Auctions called the discovery the 'Help!' guitar “the greatest find of a Beatles guitar since Paul McCartney’s lost 1961 Höfner bass guitar.”

“Finding this remarkable instrument is like finding a lost Rembrandt or Picasso, and it still looks and plays like a dream after having been preserved in an attic for more than 50 years,” added Julien. “To awaken this sleeping beauty is a sacred honour.”

The guitar is one of over 1,000 lots that’ll be featured in the “Music Icons” sale.

Also being sold at the auction are Tina Turner's custom Versace dress, worn during her Wildest Dreams Tour in the mid-90s; Amy Winehouse's Black Fendi gown; a Fender P Bass played by U2’s Adam Clayton; a book of Tupac Shakur’s handwritten lyrics; Onitsuka Tiger trainers worn by Freddie Mercury; and a jacket worn by Michael Jackson in 1984 during the Victory Tour.

Highlights from the auction are on display until 30 April in London, at the Hard Rock Cafe in Piccadilly Circus.

Share this articleComments

You might also like