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John Lennon's Lost Guitar From 'Help!' Era Up for Auction, Expected to Fetch Millions

The guitar was played on the Beatles' 'You've Got to Hide Your Love Away' and during the 'Rubber Soul' sessions.

Source: IMDB/United Artists

Lennon playing the 12-string on 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' in the film 'Help!'

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Another lost instrument from the Beatles has been found. Following in the footsteps of Paul McCartney's lost Hofner bass, (which was returned to the former Beatle earlier this year), the Framus "Hootenanny" 5/024 12 guitar that John Lennon used on Help! and Rubber Soul is now on the Julien's Auction site, and expected to fetch more than the $2.4 million (£2 million) price tag of Lennon’s Gibson J160E when it sold in 2015.

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Source: Julien's Auction

The Framus 12-string Hootenanny is expected to fetch millions.

As part of their Music Icons collection, along with guitars being auctioned from Randy Bachman, the acoustic guitar from Lennon was one that quite literally disappeared from view after 1965. Used during the recording sessions in early 1965 for Help!, the instrument was used by both Lennon and George Harrison on "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and it made a brief appearance in the movie during filming.

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qthe beatles youve got to hide your love away from help
Source: IMDB/United Artists

Lennon and McCartney during the 'You've Got to Hide Your Love Away' sequence.

It was also used again later in the year during the Rubber Soul recordings, with Lennon using it on "Girl" and Harrison taking it over for guitar parts on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)." After being passed around the group, Lennon gifted the guitar to Gordon Waller, one-half of the pop duo Peter & Gordon. At the time, both Lennon and McCartney had been writing songs that would be recorded by other artists and the duo were the beneficiaries of several of their songs, including "A World Without Love" and "Woman."

Waller at some point handed the guitar over to his manager who then took it home, placed it in the crushed yellow-velvet Maton case and stored it in an attic, not to see the light of day for 60 years.

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Source: Julien's Auctions/Beatles Book Photo Library

George Harrison playing the Framus 12-string at EMI Studios during the recording of 'Rubber Soul.'

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Discovered by the manager's son during a move in the English countryside, the guitar was authenticated by Beatles gear expert Andy Babiuk. But years of humidity and swings in hot and cold temperatures had done damage to its playability. Julien's wanted it restored to a more authentic look and sound and had Ryan Schuermann of LA Guitar Repair painstakingly bring the instrument back to life.

Source: Julien's Auction/MEGA

The guitar originally cost £36 ($45). Current estimated worth: £482,000 – £642,000 ($600,000 – $800,000).

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"Finding this remarkable instrument is like finding a lost Rembrandt or Picasso, and it still looks and plays like a dream after having been preserved in an attic for more than 50 years," said Darren Julien, co-founder and executive director of Julien’s Auctions. "To awaken this sleeping beauty is a sacred honor."

The guitar is currently on display in London until April 30 at The Hard Rock Cafe in Piccadilly Circus.


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