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©AP/ This custom-made VOX went for $408,000
© AP/ This custom-made VOX went for $408,000
Beatles guitar auctioned off to tune of $408K

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A custom-made electric guitar played by the late John Lennon and George Harrison of the Beatles sold at a New York auction on Saturday for $408,000, said officials with the company behind the event.

Find: How much did Paul McCartney's bass fetch at auction?

The semi-hollow-body guitar, manufactured by the VOX company, was sold to an unidentified U.S. buyer at the "Music Icons" event organized by Beverly Hills, California-based Julien's Auctions and held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan.

Julien's said previously it expected the guitar, which was the centerpiece of Saturday's sale, to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000.

Harrison played the instrument, distinguished by two symmetrical flared shoulders on the upper body, while practicing "I Am The Walrus," and Lennon used it in a video session for the song "Hello, Goodbye," according to a statement from Julien's Auctions.

Both songs were on the Beatles' 1967 album "Magical Mystery Tour."

The VOX guitar was a prototype instrument custom-built for Lennon in 1966, said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien's. Lennon gave the VOX guitar as a gift in 1967 to Yanni "Magic Alex" Mardas, who was the electronics engineer for the band's Apple Records label, the auction house said.

The instrument, displayed in recent weeks at a museum in Ireland before the sale, was sold a few years ago by Christie's Auction House for a little over $100,000. Nolan said the latest buyer, who sent a representative to Saturday's auction to bid on his behalf, wished to remain anonymous.

Lennon was shot to death in New York in 1980 by a deranged fan, and Harrison died of lung cancer in Los Angeles in 2001. The surviving members of the Beatles are Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.


 

55Comments
May 20, 2013 6:18AM
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My god! what a monstrosity.  When I think of Beatle guitars I think Richenbacker or Hofner.
May 20, 2013 5:17AM
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Apparently the guitar brings death to those who play it. I'm betting Paul is happy as hell he was a lefty, and Ringo played the drums!
May 19, 2013 5:28PM
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Never seen that hideous specimen in my life, and I doubt very much it was ever used for anything.

Seriously, somebody bit the Big One on that piece of crap. It gives one the heebie-geebies. Neither
Lennon, nor Harrison, would have had anything to do with that thing.

It simply is stunningly, amazingly ugly. And not in a good way.

May 19, 2013 2:50PM
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I wouldn't have given a penny more than $407,999.
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So , it was a prototype they practiced on once, made a video with and promptly gave away, to a roadie, basically all within a year.   Sounds like a real find. .  .How much did he overpay on this ? $200K . . No wonder he's remaining anonymus. . . !!
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