For the Spring 2012 issue, now discontinued guitar lover ran a cover closeup george harrisonThe all-important guitars, one of the featured instruments in the then-new iPad app Guitar Collection: George Harrison.
i am the editor in chief guitar lover At the time, one of the guitars included in our story was George’s Gibson J-160E Sound and electricityHe and Lennon each purchased the model in September 1962 at a Liverpool music store called Rushworth’s.
These are the guitars you hear in early cuts of The Beatles, such as “Love Me Do” and “PS I Love You,” and Lennon’s guitar was likely the one he used to write many of the group’s early hits guitars, including “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me.
Oddly enough, at some point after purchasing the guitars, Lennon and Harrison swapped them, knowingly or not, because they seemed to all intents and purposes identical. Anyway, in December 1963, after the Beatles’ Christmas performance at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London, Lennon’s instrument was lost, presumably stolen.
For the next 50 years, the guitar’s fate remained a mystery.But in 2014, an American guitarist named John McCaw discovered guitar lover The Harrison collection was published in a stack of magazines.
Curious, he opened it and read about Harrison’s J-160E, noting that its serial number was only four different from the J-160E he had bought from a friend in 1969 for $175. He also noticed that in the photo of Lennon’s guitar, there were some obvious spots similar to the wear on his instrument.
Using a video of the Beatles performing “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” in which Lennon plays his J-160E, McCaw compared the guitars and noticed similar patterns on the pickguards, which prompted him to contact the Beatles jazz band gear specialist Andy Babiuk.
Upon further investigation, McCaw learned that he was actually the owner of John Lennon’s long-lost guitar, making it one of the most important pieces of gear ever found in rock and roll history.
Gibson continues to sell at auction $2.4 million, with a portion of the proceeds going to Spirit Foundations Inc, a charity founded by Yoko Ono and John Lennon to help fight cervical cancer.
As a Beatles fan, I was delighted to learn that our magazine played a small role in solving the mystery of Lennon’s missing guitar.
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