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Guitar found in attic was used by John Lennon to record Beatles Help album

1 month ago

Guitar found in attic was used by John Lennon to record Beatles Help album
The Beatles, left to right, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Credit: PA

A guitar used by The Beatles is set to make waves at auction, with an estimated value surpassing £600,000 after being found unexpectedly in an attic.

The 12-string acoustic guitar, believed to be lost for over half a century, was used by John Lennon in the recording of The Beatles‘ iconic “Help!” album and film.

The instrument had not been seen or played for more than 50 years.

After the Hootenanny model, made by German firm Framus, was used by The Beatles, the guitar was then in the possession of Scottish guitarist Gordon Waller, known for being one half of the pop duo Peter & Gordon, who later gave the item to his band’s road managers.

Decades later new owners, living in the rural British countryside, rediscovered the guitar in the midst of their move and are putting it up for auction with an estimate of £485,000 to £647,000.

Believed to be lost, the Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar, used in the recording of The Beatles’ Help! album and film, had been unseen for more than 50 years. Credit: Julien’s Auctions / PA
Believed to be lost, the Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar, used in the recording of The Beatles’ Help! album and film, had been unseen for more than 50 years. Credit: Julien’s Auctions / PA

Julien’s Auctions will sell it along with the guitar’s Maton Australian-made case as part of its Music Icons two-day auction event next month and believe it could set a “new world record for the highest-selling Beatles guitar”.

The guitar was seen in the scene of the Help! movie when the group perform You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away and it was used during the recording sessions for Help!, It’s Only Love and I’ve Just Seen A Face and Girl along with the rhythm track for Norwegian Wood played by George Harrison.

Darren Julien, co-founder and executive director at Julien’s Auctions said:

“The discovery of John Lennon’s Help! guitar that was believed to be lost is considered the greatest find of a Beatles guitar since Paul McCartney’s lost 1961 Hofner 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. To awaken this sleeping beauty is a sacred honour and is a great moment for music, Julien’s, Beatles and auction history.”

The guitar’s Maton Australian-made case. Credit: Julien’s Auctions / PA
The guitar’s Maton Australian-made case. Credit: Julien’s Auctions / PA

Sir Paul was reunited with his bass guitar, which the Beatle used on famous tracks such as Twist And Shout and She Loves You, in February following a worldwide search.

It was found in an attic of a terraced house on the south coast of England after going missing in the 1970s.

A Lennon acoustic guitar was sold for 2.4 million US dollars (£1.93 million), Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drum kit was purchased for 2.2 million US dollars (£1.77 million), a Ludwig drumhead bass used on The Ed Sullivan Show was auctioned at 2.1 million US dollars (£1.64 million).

For more on John Lennon click here.

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