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Who gave John his first harmonica?
6 October 2012
5.14am
mithveaen
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HI guys

 

Two of my students have a question about how John got his first harmonica. Was it a present from his uncle (Mimi's husband) or did he steal it??

 

Thanks!!

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
6 October 2012
9.31am
meanmistermustard
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Wiki.answers comes up with this (it was the first site i came across in a search to give an answer)

John Lennon was given a harmonica by his uncle George when he was a child, and  after his uncle's death began to teach himself. Having played harmonica through  early Beatles gigs, John developed his technique in 1962 when the Beatles were  on tour with Bruce Channel, and Bruce's harmonica player Delbert McClinton's  gave John some tips which influenced John's playing on the Beatles' debut single  'Love Me Do".

John stole the harmonica he used on Love Me Do from a shop in Arnhem in 1960 (From Joe's entry for 16th August 1960).

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6 October 2012
1.43pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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The first harmonica was given to John from George Smith (Mimi's husband). He later nicked one in Germany because he had had the first one for a very long time (at least ten years).

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6 October 2012
5.25pm
goodbyehello
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I read somewhere that years ago some fans had managed to track the place down that John Lennon had stolen the harmonica from and paid the shop owner for it.

6 October 2012
8.39pm
Zig
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goodbyehello said
I read somewhere that years ago some fans had managed to track the place down that John Lennon had stolen the harmonica from and paid the shop owner for it.

 

If that is true, it is an epic gesture. Can you recall your source?

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6 October 2012
9.01pm
Joe
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I didn't know the fans had paid the owner, but they've done all right out of the connection. Some links:

The Beatles at Bergmann

Buy a harmonica with an Imagine written on it (for some reason) and get a "stolen one" certificate

And from the comments on this page:

Today, on a Dutch talkshow an old lady who still runs a music instrument shop in Arnhem told that in the 80's she heard the story of John stealing a mouth organ in Arnhem and realised that this had happened in her shop. She remembered some very strange looking English boys coming to her shop in the 60's, wanting to look at some instruments, but buying nothing. Later she missed a mouth organ.
She nows sells the same model as 'The Stolen One'.

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6 October 2012
9.09pm
goodbyehello
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I saw that too- I was googling to find my source. I want to say I read it in a "twist of Lennon"- but I have read so many books I really am not sure which one it was. It stood out to me though because I thought it was an awesome gesture.

7 October 2012
4.36am
mithveaen
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Thanks so much for your answer!! I already posted the info to my 2 young Beatlefriends a-hard-days-night-john-2a-hard-days-night-john-2apple01apple01apple01

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
13 April 2014
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Beatleva
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mr. Sun king coming together said
The first harmonica was given to John from George Smith (Mimi's husband). He later nicked one in Germany because he had had the first one for a very long time (at least ten years).

Just one thing, John Lennon actually stole the harmonica in Arnhem, which is in The Netherlands/Holland. He did it when he was on his way to Germany, I think.

 

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