This rather unusual guitar turned up for
auction recently. iJohn Lennon’s guitar sold for
$408,000. The auction house Julien’s said the
guitar had exceeded its estimated value of
The striking custom guitar built by Mike Bennett
and Dickey Denney was played by George
Harrison practising “I am the Walrus” during The
Magical Mystery Tour and by Lennon while
preparing for the recording a video session for
The guitar body has a unique scroll
design, marked “Vox Custom” on the headstock. It
also featured 24 fret rosewood fingerboard with
rectangular inlays, mahogany hollow body, single
f-hole along with electronics which include six
push buttons for: treble, bass, top boost,
mid-boost, fuzz and repeat. The guitar was not
originally designed as part of the VOX
Kensington line but it has become known as such.
The guitar is discussed by Andy Babiuk in his
book “Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s
Instruments: From Stage to Studio” and seen in
“Beat Instrumental” November 1967 which shows an
image of George Harrison playing the guitar.
This spectacular piece of Beatles history
has recently been on display at the Newbridge
Silverware Museum of Style in Dublin before
travelling back to the United States where it
was auctioned to the highest bidder at Julien’s
Auctions Music Icons event on Saturday, May 18,
In the well known picture of The Quarrymen playing the Woolton Fete, July
1957, Lennon is playing a Gallotone Champion and on the right is a photo of
his actual one, which sold at Sotheby's for $250,000 to Adam Sender in 1999.
It now lies at the Boston Museum of Fine Art. .
1959, John went up in the world with this Hofner Club 40 - his first
electric guitar. He is pictured with George in 1969 at the Indra Club,
1964 John asked Rickenbacker to make him a 325 Jet-glo 12 string
which he acquired in March. It belongs in the Lennon estate.It has been
displayed at Clevelands Rock & Roll Hall of fame museum.
1960, Paul's Rosetti Solid 7 - he thought it was a bit of a rubbish
guitar. The pic on the right shows that Paul has transformed it to a 3
string bass !
1956, George's first (possibly) guitar, an Egmond acoustic.
guitar was auctioned off in 80s, and was on loan to the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame in Cleveland from 1995 to 2002. In 2003, now worth approx.
$800,000 was displayed at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool
1958, George bought (maybe with mum's help !) a Hofner President. He
later put a pick up on it. It had no name on the headstock. He swopped it
(although this is questionable) with Ray Ennis of The Swinging Blue Jeans
for his new guitar. It's whereabouts is unknown.
1959 he acquired (bottom left) this Hofner Club 40, slightly different to
John's. It was signed by all 4 and lies in a German bank vault !
1959 George bought this Resonet (later Selmer) Futurama II, red sunburst
from Hessy's, Liverpool.It later ended up in the hands of Sean O'Mahoney,
editor of Beatles Monthly, who still owns it. The picture on the right is
similar (III), and credited to Dusan Palka, California, USA
JOHN'S BIG ONE !
1960 a 1958 Rickenbacker 325 capri - bought in Steinways of Hamburg,
gold pickguard, kaufmann vibrato.John had a Bigsby b5 vibrato put on it and
painted black in Sept 62.In 1972 it was restored to it's natural colour, and
is owned by Sean. It's last public appearance was on the 1964 Ed
Sullivan show. It's that sacred that even my knitted doll has got a replica
10 Sept 62 John & George bought identical Gibson J160e from Rushworths,
Liverpool for £161. As they were identical apart from the serial numbers,
they got them mixed up.George's was stolen at the 1963 Finsbury Park Xmas
show - John thought it was his that was stolen, so replaced it with the one
1964 John bought another J160e to replace his 'lost' one. In 1967 The
Fool painted in psychedilic colours and had it stripped later for the bed
in.It was on display at Cleveland rock n roll hall of fame on loan from
1964 Another Rickenbacker 325 Jet-glo -an improved model ,it was sent to
the Deauville rehearsals for the 2nd Ed Sullivan show- it immediately
replaced his previous one until late 65. It was displayed
at the Lennon museum, Japan. Lennon dropped it the Hammersmith 64 Xmas show
and cracked the headstock. Also in 1964 he got Rickenbacker to make a12
string 325.It belongs in the Lennon estate.
After breaking his 64 325, Rose Morris gave him a Fire glo model. He gave
it to Ringo.
1960 and John lent Paul his Hofner Club 40 as he had bought his
Rickenbacker, and as you can see, Paul just re-strung it left handed. Lennon
soon sold it.
In fact, John's 325 is so important, even my Beatle has one !
1961 Hofner 500/1 - Hofner Violin bass.When Paul was 'lumbered' with
playing bass, he bought this cheapish bass, in Steinways, Hamburg.Some
b.....d stole it.
PAUL'S BIG ONE !
1966 He acquired an Epiphone Ee230td Casino sunburst. It was used for
the Revolver sessions and the1st live gig was 1 may 66. In 1968 he had
it sanded to natural and appears with it on the Apple HQ rooftop
& the Live peace in Toronto. It belongs in the Lennon estate
Paul's first guitar - apparently he traded in the trumpet his dad had
given him. He still owns it ! I can remember I had a Zenith guitar once -- a
little red semi acoustic number !