Published On: Wed, May 8th, 2013

Rare Beatles Guitar Used By John Lennon And George Harrison On Show

An extremely rare guitar played by John Lennon and George Harrison of the Beatles will be on display on Thursday, 8th May at the Stafford London Hotel

This very rare custom-made prototype VOX guitar played by George Harrison and John Lennon during The Beatles 1967 Magical Mystery Tour  is set to go on public display at The Stafford London Hotel, St.James Place, SW1 on Thursday 9th May to Saturday 11th May, before being sold at auction in New York by Julien's Auctions on Saturday 18th May as part of their "Music Icons" event.

The Beatles VOX guitar is estimated to sell for between $200,000 to $300,000 USD, so this exclusive public viewing in London is a must for vintage guitar enthusiasts and Beatles fans, to get close to this historical instrument while it's in London, one last time.

Julien’s Auctions, the world’s premier celebrity and entertainment memorabilia international auction house, has announced an exclusive London exhibit and unveiling of the very rare Beatles VOX guitar played by both John Lennon and George Harrison.

The guitar will be on display for a very limited time at the The Stafford London by Kempinski located at St. James Place 16-18 in London from Thursday May 9, 2013 through Saturday May 11, 2013 only.  

Fans of The Beatles and music enthusiasts can view the exceptional historic guitar on display in the main lobby area during this limited engagement.  The guitar will depart for the United States on May 12th where it will be auctioned in New York later that week. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the very rare musical instrument will only take place during the week at the exclusive 5-star hotel. 

A custom made prototype guitar made in 1966 and played by both John Lennon and George Harrison. The guitar was built by Mike Bennett with electronics by Dick Denney of Vox guitars. Harrison can be seen rehearsing with the guitar on "I Am the Walrus" during the "Magical Mystery Tour" (September 18-24, 1967).

Lennon can be seen playing it as part of the promotional video for "Hello, Goodbye" but it is not seen in the final version of the video that was released. Lennon gifted the guitar to "Magic Alex" Mardas. A plaque affixed to the back of the guitar reads "To Magic Alex/ Alexi thank you/ for been [sic] a friend/ 2-5-1967 John." 

According to Madras the date refers to his 25th birthday earlier that year and not the date the guitar was given to him. This guitar was not originally designed as part of the Vox Kensington line but it has become known as such.

The guitar has an intriguing place in Beatles history. There is the fractured relationship between the Beatles and Madras. The difference in Bennett and Denney’s memories on whether there were one or two guitars built. Also the disappearance and reappearance of the guitar give it an aura of unusual mystery in Beatles lore.

The guitar is discussed by Andy Babiuk in his book "Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s instruments, from Stage to Studio" and seen in "Beat Instrumental" Nvember 1967 which shows an image of George Harrison playing the guitar on page 24 and is included with this lot.

LITERATURE "Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments, From Stage to Studio" by Andy Babiuk (San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2002).  It’s one of the few guitars known to exist that was played by both John Lennon and George Harrison and the historic

The Beatles VOX guitar will be auctioned during Juilen’s Auctions annual Music Icons event at The Hard Rock Cafe Times Square, New York City on Saturday, May 18th. The estimate is $200,000 – $300,000
WHO:    Darren Julien, Founder & CEO of Julien’s Auctions  
WHEN:  Thursday, 9th May 2013 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
WHERE: The Stafford London Hotel by Kempinski, St.James Place 16-18, London SW1A 1NJ

0207 493 0111

Live Auction
Music Icons – Saturday, May 18th 2013
Session I: 11:00 a.m. EST
Session II: 2:00 p.m. EST



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