John Lennon’s Gibson J-160E guitar sells for $2.41 million

The guitar played by John Lennon on The Beatles’ first single ‘Love Me Do’ has sold at auction for $2.41 million.

lennon-guitar-gibson-J-160E_01Two Gibson J-160E ‘Jumbo’ guitars were ordered by Lennon and George Harrison from Rushworth’s music store in Liverpool in 1962, after The Beatles were informed they had landed an EMI recording contract. In addition to their first single, Lennon used the guitar on the singles ‘Please Please Me’, ‘From Me To You’, and on their debut album and its follow-up With The Beatles.

At some point the two guitars became mixed up, and the Harrison estate now owns the guitar originally bought to Lennon. The one Lennon used went missing for 50 years after being stolen during The Beatles’ Christmas Shows in Finsbury Park, London in 1963.

In 2013 John McCaw bought the guitar from a second-hand store in the US. He grew curious about its origins, and after some preliminary investigations contacted Andy Babiuk, world-renowned Beatles instruments expert and author of the book Beatles Gear.

The guitar was sold by Julien’s Auctions in California. Its buyer wished to remain anonymous.

Also in the sale was a drop-T logo drum head formerly belonging to Ringo Starr, which sold for $2.125 million. The buyer was Jim Irsay, owner of the American Football team Indianapolis Colts.

The drum head was the second of seven to sport the famous drop-T logo, and was used during The Beatles’ historic first Ed Sullivan Show appearance.

Here’s a clip of the sale of Lennon’s Gibson guitar:

Last updated: 8 June 2020
The Beatles' 1 collection is reissued with remixed audio and restored video
Love Me Do drummer Andy White dies
Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

Latest Comments

  1. Karyn Gardner Sunday 24 May 2020
    • David Devalle Friday 13 October 2023
  2. Jack Thursday 25 March 2021

Leave a Reply