John Lennon’s ‘Help!’ Guitar Just Sold for a Record .9M. at Auction

John Lennon’s ‘Help!’ Guitar Just Sold for a Record $2.9M. at Auction

John Lennon’s guitar needed no help setting a new world record on Wednesday.

The famous “Help!” Framus Hootenanny hammered down an astonishing $2.86 million in Julien’s two-day Music Icons sale at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York, making it the most expensive Beatles guitar ever sold at auction. (The record was previously held by Lennon’s J-160E Gibson, which sold for $2.41 million in 2015.) The instrument was initially expected to fetch between $600,000 and $800,000 but achieved three times the high estimate. It was sold to a telephone bidder.

“We are absolutely thrilled and honored to have set a new world record with the sale of John Lennon’s lost hootenanny guitar,” Julien’s Auctions CEO David Goodman said in a statement. “This guitar is not only a piece of music history but a symbol of John Lennon’s enduring legacy.”

German firm Framus made the 12-string acoustic guitar in the early 1960s, with Lennon purchasing it in late 1964. The Beatles frontman famously used the Hootenanny during the Help! recording sessions in 1965. It can be heard on legendary Beatles tracks such as “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “It’s Only Love,” “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” and “Help!” Fellow Beatle George Harrison also used it to play rhythm on “Norwegian Wood.” In addition, the guitar can be spotted in multiple scenes from the 1965 film Help!

The Framus fell into the hands of Gordon Waller of the pop duo Peter and Gordon in the late ‘60s, after which it fell off the radar for half a century. The current owners recently found the instrument in the attic of their home in the British countryside and contacted Julien’s. Good thing they did, too.

The first day of the Music Icons auction pulled in $6 million in sales, three times as much as Julien’s expected. Nearly all lots were snapped up, for a 98.5 percent sell-through. The full Julian Lennon Collection, which included rarities such as gold Beatles records and a “Yellow Submarine” animation cel, realized more than $570,000 alone. Other standouts included a Dolly Parton guitar that sold for $10,400, a Rolling Stones print that achieved $16,250, and an Eric Clapton guitar that took in $101,600.

The sale continues today (Thursday, May 30) at the Hard Rock Cafe and online at Julien’s Auctions. The lineup includes pieces connected to Prince, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, and U2. Let’s see if any more records are broken then.

The post “John Lennon’s ‘Help!’ Guitar Just Sold for a Record $2.9M. at Auction” by Francesca Aton was published on 05/31/2024 by