I don’t keep track of all these auctions but this one may be a record: a guitar stolen from John Lennon in the 1960s was sold for $2.41 million on Saturday at an auction in Beverly Hills, whereas a Beatles drum head, which was used by The Beatles when they made their historic appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, was sold for (only) $2.1 million… It has to be the highest prices ever for items of rock and roll memorabilia!
According to the Guardian, John McCaw had owned the J-160E Gibson acoustic guitar since the 60’s, as he had bought it without knowing it had been stolen from Lennon several years before, during a 1963 Christmas concert. The good thing is that half of the proceeds from the sale will go toward the Spirit Foundation, a charitable organization created by Lennon and Yoko Ono, whereas we don’t know the name of the buyer who has asked to remain anonymous,
Lennon had bought the instrument in a Liverpool music shop in 1962 and he used it to record or write famous Beatles songs such as ‘PS I Love You’, ‘Love Me Do’, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and ‘All My Loving’…
In comparison, the electric guitar that Bob Dylan played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, was sold for $965,000 at a 2013 Christie’s auction, and a guitar signed by Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney was sold for $2.7 million at a 2005 charity event in Qatar, but people are so rich over there.
I don’t really get a few things in this story, first, how can they be sure it is the guitar Lennon used?…. Beatles scholar Andy Babiuk noted in a press release that ‘wood grain is like a fingerprint, no two are the same…It is without a doubt one of the most historically important guitars ever to come up for auction’, but there are some people who contest it was John’s guitar as it may have been George’s? Others said the guitar was never stolen just left after a concert by a roadie… not that it really matters but accuracy is important in this sort of things. Then, the Beatles must have used tons of guitars over their career, so does it mean they all worth this much? And I wonder what people do with a guitar they have bought for a little fortune. Obviously they put it under glass protection and never touch it again,… what a waste!
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