Beatles guitar could sell for $600,000

A guitar played by George Harrison while The Beatles recorded I Want To Hold Your Hand could sell for $600,000 at auction this week.

He bought it in the USA while he was visiting his sister then used it in the UK as the Fab Four cut the single that would break them on the other side of the Atlantic.

And when he gave it away to a friend, who sold it years later, Harrison let it be known he was “disappointed” and that he’d think twice about giving similar presents in the future.

Auctioneers Julien’s have also confirmed the Rickenbacker 425, serial number BH439, appeared on TV show Ready Steady Go in October 1963. The following night it was played by John Lennon backstage in Glasgow, before being used at Abbey Road on October 17.

Harrison eventually gave the guitar to his friend George Peckham of The Fourmost, and it was first sold at auction in 1999 – much to the Beatle’s dismay.

In a letter dated October 1999, his wife Olivia told auctioneers Christie’s: “Mr Harrison was disappointed that George Peckham decided to sell it, as he was that Delaney Bramlett put his rosewood Telecaster up for auction. They were given to George and Delany as fellow musicians and friends. It discourages him from giving away anything in the future.”

Peckham confirmed before the auction that the guitar was kept in a case given to him by Slade frontman Noddy Holder, saying: “Noddy said he couldn’t bear to see a Beatles guitar being carried around without a case.”

Since then it’s been displayed at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, the John Lennon Museum in Japan and the Grammy Museum in New York.

Julien’s will auction the Rickenbacker on Saturday, along with a range of Beatles memorabilia and other rock’n’roll items. The instrument has already secured a bid of $400,000.

The Beatles on Ready Steady Go, 1963

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.