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Historic John Lennon Acoustic Guitar, Lost for 50+ Years, to Be Auctioned in November

Julien's AuctionsAn acoustic guitar John Lennon played on many well-known Beatles songs that went missing more than 50 years ago has been rediscovered and is being put up for bid at a memorabilia auction scheduled for this fall in Beverly Hills, California.

Lennon had purchased the instrument, a 1962 Gibson J-160E Acoustic, at a Liverpool music store in September of that year for 161 pounds; George Harrison bought an identical model at the same time.  John used the instrument frequently for more than a year, but it disappeared during The Beatles' Finsbury Park Christmas Show in December 1963.

The first Fab Four recordings on which Lennon played the guitar were "P.S. I Love You" and "Love Me Do," and he continued to use the instrument on songs that called for an acoustic.  John also is said to have written or co-written many classic Beatles tunes on the guitar, including "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Please, Please, Me," "All My Loving," "From Me to You" and more.

The story of how the guitar was rediscovered is a fascinating one.  San Diego resident John McCaw had purchased an old guitar at a junk shop many years ago.  Then, in April of 2014, he noticed a photo of Harrison playing what appeared to be an identical instrument in a magazine, and wondered if his guitar might be one and the same.  A friend of McCaw's then contacted noted Beatles expert and veteran rock musician Andy Babiuk, who examined the guitar and was able to identify it as Lennon's lost Gibson J-160E by comparing the instrument's markings and wood grain.

"It is one of the most important of all Lennon's Beatles guitars, as he used this J-160E to write some of The Beatles' biggest hits, and played the guitar on countless live performances and on many Beatle recordings," says Babiuk.  "It is without a doubt one of the most historically important guitars to ever come up for auction."

The guitar will go on the block as part of Julien's Auctions' Icons & Idols: Rock n Roll 2015 sale, which will be held November 6 and 7 in Beverly Hills.  The instrument is expected to fetch between $600,000 and $800,000.

Leading up to the auction, the guitar will be displayed in a number of locations.  From June 13 to June 29, it will be viewable at The LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, as part of the exhibit Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles!  From July 2 to September 7, the guitar will be exhibited at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.  It also will be displayed at the Julien's Auctions Beverly Hills site from November 2 to November 6.

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