John Lennon's original 1962 J-160E Gibson Acoustic guitar, which was thought to have been lost for over 50 years, will be going to auction.

In September of 1962 John Lennon and George Harrison both purchased a jumbo J-160E Gibson acoustic guitar each from Rushworth's Music House in Liverpool for £161 (£247) with no idea the guitars would become such an integral part to the Beatles' story.

At the time, the guitars were the only ones of their king in the U.K. They had been flown to England by jet from the U.S after being specially ordered. The two guitars were identical apart from the serial numbers.

John Lennon's original 1962 J-160E Gibson Acoustic guitar Image via Julien's Click on the lot to check it out John Lennon's original 1962 J-160E Gibson Acoustic guitar
Image via Julien's
Click on the lot to check it out

In December of 1963, at the time the band held The Beatles' Finsbury Park Christmas Show, Lennon's guitar went missing and he later replaced it with a 1964 model. The Gibson guitar was lost for over 50 years, until now, when it will be auctioned at Julien's Auctions on November 7.

On September 11, 1962, The Beatles travelled from Liverpool to EMI Studios, London, on the day after receiving the guitars. Here at the studios, the first song recorded that day was "P.S. I Love You," followed by "Love Me Do." It was Lennon who used this guitar on many of the recordings they did in 1962 and 1963 that required an acoustic guitar.

John adored this particular guitar and would take it home and write songs on it with Paul McCartney. Beatles hits like "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Please, Please, Me," "All My Loving," "From Me to You," "This Boy" and more were written with this very guitar.

The guitar appeared on Please Please Me, Introducing The Beatles, The Early Beatles, With The Beatles, Meet The Beatles , The Beatles One , The Beatles Anthology 1, Live At the BBC (The Beatles Album) and much more. As well as this it featured on the UK singles "Please Please Me/Ask Me Why" and "From Me to You/Thank You Girl." The guitar can also be seen being played on November 22, 1963 for the videos of I Want to Hold Your Hand and This Boy.

The Beatles 1964 Ed Sullivan Show drum head on sale in Julien's Icons and Idols 2015: Rock n' Roll sale Image via Julien's Click on the lot to check it out The Beatles 1964 Ed Sullivan Show drum head on sale in Julien's Icons and Idols 2015: Rock n' Roll sale
Image via Julien's
Click on the lot to check it out

The guitar was discovered by the author of Beatles Gear — All The Fab Four's Instruments From Stage To Studio, Andy Babiuk. John McCaw's close friend and guitar instructor Marc Intravaia reached out to Babiuk at Andy Babiuk's Fab Gear, his guitar shop in Rochester, New York.

Babiuk stated: "I get calls and email all the time with people telling me that they think they have an instrument owned by The Beatles and 99% of the time it's nothing, but there was something about McCaw's story that was intriguing."

John McCaw said of his discovery: "In April 2014 I was leaving my guitar group's weekly jam and noticed a magazine from May 2012 in the studio's bookcase which featured a cover story titled the "George Harrison Collection." There was a photo and bio of the J-160E which bore many similarities to mine. I saw identical marks in the same location on each guitar. Reading on, the story noted that the two Beatles swapped guitars in 1963 for reasons unknown."

''This is when my heart skipped a beat and the journey began. We searched for the person who could help us confirm the identity of my guitar. This led us straight to Andy Babiuk, the world's leading expert on all Beatles gear."

Babiuk studied the guitar and was able to match the wood grain in the spruce top to photos of Lennon playing the guitar with The Beatles in the early 1960's.

"Wood grain is like a fingerprint, no two are the same, and without a doubt it is a match."

"It is one of the most important of all Lennon's Beatles guitars, as he used this J-160E to write some of The Beatles' biggest hits, and played the guitar on countless live performances and on many Beatle recordings.''

"It is without a doubt one of the most historically important guitars to ever come up for auction."

Increasing its value, the guitar has never been modified in any way. Never has it been refinished and nor has it had no hardware or electronic changes. The piece is estimated to fetch between $600 000-$800 000, with a percentage of proceeds from the sale of the guitar going to Spirit Foundations, Inc., a non-profit organization founded by John and Yoko.

Beatles fans around the world can rejoice as they will have the chance to see the Lennon J-160E will go on display prior to the auction at The LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, from June 13-29 for the opening of The GRAMMY Museum® and Fab Four Exhibits Ladies & Gentlemen...The Beatles Exhibition!

It will then be displayed at the GRAMMY Museum® in Los Angeles from July 2-September 7, 2015 and at Julien's Auctions Beverly Hills from November 2-6, 2015.

Check out Julien's on Barnebys here.

Comments