John Lennon's Guitar Sells For Record-Breaking $2.9M After Being Lost For 50 Years: 'Check Your Attics, Folks,' Says Auctioneer

Zinger Key Points
  • Lennon's guitar was bought through a telephone bid at an NYC Hard Rock Cafe Wednesday after having been missing for 50 years.
  • The guitar went from one person's attic to another person's parents' attic until it was recently found and authenticated by a Beatles expert

John Lennon's Framus 12-string acoustic guitar, which was valued at $600,000 to $800,000 before Wednesday's auction, ended up selling for $2,857,500, becoming the fifth-most expensive guitar ever sold. An anonymous buyer placed the bid via telephone while at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City.

Rock ‘n' roll memorabilia auction house, Julien’s Auctions, which has broken world records with the sale of The Beatles memorabilia in the past, sold the guitar.

David Goodman, chief executive at Julien's Auctions, said the Framus was the most important Beatles guitar to ever come to market.

“This guitar is not only a piece of music history but a symbol of John Lennon's enduring legacy,” Goodman said, reported the BBC. “Today's unprecedented sale is a testament to the timeless appeal and reverence of The Beatles' music and John Lennon.”

Where Was Lennon's Guitar All These Years?

The 12-string acoustic guitar, known as the Hootenanny, was apparently lost after Lennon and George Harrison used it to record the 1965 Beatles albums "Help!" and "Rubber Soul," according to Julien's Auctions. It was also used during the recording sessions for “It's Only Love,” “I've Just Seen a Face” and “Girl,” and on the rhythm track for “Norwegian Wood” played by George Harrison, noted The Guardian.

Then, later in 1965, Lennon gave the guitar to British pop duo Peter and Gordon, who were close friends with The Beatles at the time. Lennon wrote several of their most popular songs.

‘Check Your Attic, Folks'

Gordon, at some point, gave the guitar to one of his road managers who took it home and stashed it in his attic, say Julien's Auctions' co-founders Darren Julien and Martin Nolan. They explain that more than five decades later, another individual came upon the guitar in its original case in his parents' attic, and got in touch. Julien and Nolan had it authenticated by The Beatles expert Andy Babiuk who determined it was indeed John Lennon's guitar.

"Check your attic, folks," Nolan said in this video he and Julien made about what they agree was a "historic event."

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