Lot #5
Beatles

The only known guitar signed by Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison
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Estimate: $0+

Description

The only known guitar signed by Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison

Hofner bass guitar (circa 1959) originally signed in black ink by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison on June 6, 1964. Absolutely unique, and the only surviving guitar signed by multiple members of The Beatles during the 1960s. In very good condition, with dings to the body and surface loss along the edges. Originally offered by Christie's in South Kensington, London, on May 29, 1997, as lot 383.

The autographs were procured by Oscar Rexhauser, a member of one of The Beatles' support acts, The Hot Jumpers, at Velinghal in the Dutch village of Blokker outside Amsterdam, where The Beatles performed two concerts on June 6, 1964. Besides Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, the instrument also includes autographs of Chet Atkins, Jim Reeves, Chubby Checker, Cliff Richard, and Joe Frazier all dating to the 1960s. Rexhauser later etched over the ink signatures of the three Beatles as well as the other artists as a means of preserving the autographs. Nonetheless, the guitar, with a later replaced neck, is the only known surviving guitar signed by The Beatles (sans Ringo Starr) during the 1960s. As Jimmy Nicol was acting as the group's substitute drummer during Ringo's recovery from a serious bout of tonsillitis, he was not asked to sign the Hofner.

The only other documented example known to have been signed by all four group members was destroyed in a flood many years ago. Much like the Hofner, the lost guitar was also signed by other performers, most notably The Rolling Stones. Additionally, a Rickenbacker guitar purported to have been signed by all four Beatles in Baltimore on September 13, 1964, was many years later found to have been signed by road manager Neil Aspinall; the story perpetuated by none other than the late Beatles publicist Derek Taylor in his book Fifty Years Adrift. Despite the unavoidable etching into the autographs, the Hofner still holds a unique place in Beatles lore and comes with a letter of authenticity from Oscar Rexhauser and others present when the guitar was signed. Also included is a copy of the book The Beatles In The Netherlands. Pre-certified Roger Epperson/REAL and RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Modern Music
  • Dates: #382 - Ended January 26, 2012





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