John Lennon's 'Love Me Do' Guitar Sells for $2.4M

Gibson J-160E had gone missing for 50 years, was expected to fetch $800K
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 8, 2015 5:49 AM CST
John Lennon's 'Love Me Do' Guitar Sells for $2.4M
In this Feb. 8, 1964 file photo, Ed Sullivan stands with The Beatles, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, on "The Ed Sullivan Show."   (AP Photo, File)

An acoustic guitar that John Lennon used to record and write "Love Me Do," ''I Want to Hold Your Hand," and other hit songs sold for $2.4 million at auction. Julien's Auctions said the Gibson J-160E guitar was sold Saturday to an undisclosed buyer. The auction house said the guitar was one of only two of its type flown from America to England in 1962 for Lennon and George Harrison. Lennon used the guitar for about a year before swapping it with Harrison; it later went missing during a Christmas concert in 1963. The guitar's whereabouts was unknown for over 50 years until a California man discovered last year that a guitar in his possession may have historical value.

John McCaw of San Diego, who bought the guitar in the late 1960s for $275, stumbled on an old magazine story about Harrison, which featured a photo of the instrument which bore similar markings as his guitar. An expert was able match the guitar's serial number, wood grain, and markings to the one Lennon used in the early 1960s, Julien's Auction said in a news release. The guitar had been estimated earlier this year to be worth $800,000. The drum head that the Beatles used in their landmark performance on The Ed Sullivan Show was auctioned Saturday for $2.1 million, the auction house said. (Read more John Lennon stories.)

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