Bing Search

Music News

©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.


May 20, 2013 6:18AM
My god! what a monstrosity.  When I think of Beatle guitars I think Richenbacker or Hofner.
May 20, 2013 5:17AM
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
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
I wouldn't have given a penny more than $407,999.
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. . . !!
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
more on msn music
Miranda Lambert/Pharrell Williams/Janelle Monae
See highlights from this summers' biggest current tours and festivals
Ed Sheeran: From touring with Taylor to a single with Pharrell, British troubadour navigates to pop's mainstream
Most memorable BET moments: Check out six highlights from the 2014 awards' nearly four hour event
Courtney on Kurt: His widow and Hole front woman reveals Cobain was "desperate" to achieve rock stardom
Prince reigns: The funk-rock-pop wizard reveals another full-length set ready to roll out for fans