John Lennon guitar found in attic breaks Beatles world record at auction

New York, New York - A guitar used by John Lennon has sold for $2.9 million, setting a new world record for the highest-selling guitar at auction in Beatles history.

The Framus Help! Hootenanny Guitar presumed lost for 50 years that belonged to John Lennon is displayed during the Julien's Music Icons Auction preview at Hard Rock Cafe in New York City.
The Framus Help! Hootenanny Guitar presumed lost for 50 years that belonged to John Lennon is displayed during the Julien's Music Icons Auction preview at Hard Rock Cafe in New York City.  © REUTERS

The 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar, used in the recording of The Beatles' 1965 Help! album and film, was found in an attic having not been seen or played for more than 50 years.

The guitar was acquired through a telephone bid at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York on Wednesday, as part of a two-day music icons sale by Julien’s Auctions.

"We are absolutely thrilled and honored to have set a new world record with the sale of John Lennon's lost hootenanny guitar," David Goodman, chief executive of Julien's Auctions, said.

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"This guitar is not only a piece of music history but a symbol of John Lennon's enduring legacy."

"Today symbolizes what we do best at Julien's – creating opportunities for people to reconnect with the cultural touchstones that have shaped the moments that matter most throughout their lives."

"Today's unprecedented sale is a testament to the timeless appeal and reverence of The Beatles' music and John Lennon."

John Lennon guitar used in several recording sessions

After the guitar was used by The Beatles, the instrument was 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 put it up for auction with an estimate of £485,000 ($615,200) to £647,000 ($820,689).

The guitar was seen in the scene of the Help! movie when the group perform You've Got To Hide Your Love Away.

It was also used during the recording sessions for Help!, It’s Only Love, I’ve Just Seen A Face, and Girl along with the rhythm track for Norwegian Wood played by George Harrison.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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