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While My Guitar Gently Sells: John Lennon's long-lost guitar breaks world record at auction

John Lennon's long-lost guitar breaks world record at auction
John Lennon's long-lost guitar breaks world record at auction Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By David Mouriquand
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A guitar used by John Lennon has become the most expensive Beatles instrument ever sold at auction.

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After spending the last 50 years in an attic, John Lennon’s famous 'Help!' guitar has broken records at auction.

On the first day of its "Music Icons" sale at the Hard Rock Cafe New York, Julien's Auctions sold the Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar for a record-breaking $2.9 million (€2.68 million).

That makes it the most expensive Beatles guitar to sell at auction.

The guitar was used by Lennon to record songs for their 1965 studio album 'Help!' and film of the same name, helping create some of the band's biggest hits of the '60s. Both Lennon and George Harrison played the Framus 12-string Hootenanny while making the 1965 album 'Rubber Soul'.

Presumed lost for 50 years, the guitar was recently discovered in the attic of a 90-year-old man who once worked as the road manager for the '60s duo Peter and Gordon. The duo's Gordon Waller had gotten it from Lennon in 1965 and then passed it along to the road manager.

John Lennon's Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar
John Lennon's Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitarAP Photo

"We are absolutely thrilled and honored to have set a new world record with the sale of John Lennon's lost hootenanny guitar," Julien's Auctions CEO David Goodman said in a statement. "This guitar is not only a piece of music history but a symbol of John Lennon's enduring legacy."

Goodman called the record-breaking sale "a testament to the timeless appeal and reverence of The Beatles' music and John Lennon."

A previous Lennon acoustic guitar, the Gibson J160E, sold for a then-record $2.4 million (€2.2 million) in 2015, according to Julien's Auctions.

Also being sold at the “Music Icons” 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 today (30 April) in London, at the Hard Rock Cafe in Piccadilly Circus.

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