Beatles' guitar auctioned to the tune of $408,000

Custom-made instrument played by Lennon and Harrison purchased by anonymous buyer

A custom-made electric guitar played by the late John Lennon and George Harrison  sold at a New York auction yesterday for $408,000. Photograph: Julien’s Gallery/Reuters

A custom-made electric guitar played by the late John Lennon and George Harrison sold at a New York auction yesterday for $408,000. Photograph: Julien’s Gallery/Reuters

 

A custom-made electric guitar played by the late John Lennon and George Harrison of the Beatles sold at a New York auction yesterday for $408,000 (€318,000), said officials with the company behind the event.

The semi-hollow-body guitar, manufactured by the VOX company, was sold to an unidentified US buyer at the “Music Icons” event organized by Beverly Hills, California-based Julien’s Auctions and held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan.

Julien’s said previously it expected the guitar, which was the centerpiece of Saturday’s sale, to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000.

Harrison played the instrument, distinguished by two symmetrical flared shoulders on the upper body, while practicing “I Am The Walrus,” and Lennon used it in a video session for the song “Hello, Goodbye,” according to a statement from Julien’s Auctions.

Both songs were on the Beatles’ 1967 album “Magical Mystery Tour.”

The VOX guitar was a prototype instrument custom-built for Lennon in 1966, said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s. Lennon gave the VOX guitar as a gift in 1967 to Yanni “Magic Alex” Mardas, who was the electronics engineer for the band’s Apple Records label, the auction house said.

The instrument, displayed in recent weeks at a museum in Ireland before the sale, was sold a few years ago by Christie’s Auction House for a little over $100,000. Mr Nolan said the latest buyer, who sent a representative to yesterday’s auction to bid on his behalf, wished to remain anonymous.

Lennon was shot to death in New York in 1980 by a deranged fan, and Harrison died of lung cancer in Los Angeles in 2001. The surviving members of the Beatles are Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.