Beatles Legend John Lennon's Lost Help! Guitar Discovered After 50 Years


Beatles Legend John Lennon's Lost Help! Guitar Discovered After 50 Years

(Homage PR) Julien's Auctions, the industry-leading music memorabilia auction house, announced today from Hard Rock Cafe in Piccadilly Circus that one of the most historically important Beatles guitars in rock history - John Lennon's long-lost Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar, used in the recording of The Beatles' Help! album and film and many of the Fab Four's other seminal hits from the 1960s - will headline Julien's Auctions' blockbuster MUSIC ICONS two-day auction event taking place Wednesday, May 29th, and Thursday, May 30th, 2024 live at Hard Rock Cafe in New York and online at juliensauctions.com.

This extraordinary guitar, long forgotten and believed to have been lost, was recently found in an attic in the UK after being unseen for over 50 years. Considered the most important Beatles guitar ever to come to market, it is expected to exceed its estimate of $600,000 - $800,000 USD and set a new world record for the highest-selling Beatles guitar.

The Beatles' arsenal of guitars and instruments would become as legendary and celebrated as their music, from their earliest recordings to the 1960s height of Beatlemania, when this Framus 12-string acoustic guitar would first appear. It was famously seen in the Beatles' Help! film, notably in in the memorable scene where they perform "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and other scenes, as well as numerous photographs taken by Beatles Monthly (Beatles fan club magazine) publisher Sean O'Mahoney, who had full access to the Beatles during their 1965 Help! recording sessions, where the guitar can be heard on "Help!" "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "It's Only Love" and "I've Just Seen A Face" and more. The Framus Hootenanny 12-string can also be heard on the The Beatles' recording of "Girl" during the Rubber Soul sessions and on the rhythm track for "Norwegian Wood" played by George Harrison.

By the mid to late 60s, the famous Framus was in the possession of Gordon Waller of Peter & Gordon, who later gave the Hootenanny 12-string guitar to their road managers. It was recently discovered in an attic in the rural British countryside where it had lain forgotten and unplayed for over 50 years. The homeowners found the guitar in the midst of their move and contacted Julien's Auctions. Executive Directors and Founders, Darren Julien and Martin Nolan, traveled to the UK and immediately recognized that this was indeed the storied Help! guitar. While on the premises, they also discovered the Framus' original guitar case - a Maton Australian-made guitar case (photo below) that can also be seen in photos taken of the Beatles in 1965 - in the trash and rescued it (photo left & right: Beatles Book Photo Library). The sale of the guitar is accompanied by the case and book.

"The discovery of John Lennon's Help! guitar that was believed to be lost is considered the greatest find of a Beatles guitar since Paul McCartney's lost 1961 Höfner bass guitar," said Darren Julien, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Julien's Auctions. "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. To awaken this sleeping beauty is a sacred honor and is a great moment for Music, Julien's, Beatles and Auction history.

The industry's leading rock 'n' roll memorabilia auction house has broken world records with the sale of Beatles memorabilia, including a previous John Lennon acoustic guitar, which sold for a record $2.4 million, Ringo Starr's Ludwig drum kit, which sold for a record $2.2 million, The Ludwig Beatles Ed Sullivan Show drumhead, which sold for a record price of $2.1 million, and The Beatles White Album, owned by Ringo Starr, that sold for $790,000.

Additionally, Julien's announced today their first lineup of exceptional highlights and collections, that will include some of the world's greatest stage-played guitars, instruments, wardrobe and memorabilia that have made pop culture history. Over 1,000 rock relics owned and used by the likes of AC/DC, Adam Clayton, Amy Winehouse, Joan Jett, Michael Jackson, Motley Crue, Nirvana, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Guns N' Roses, The Grateful Dead, Judas Priest, Heart, Queen, Tina Turner, Tupac Shakur and many more still to be announced, will be offered at their marquee event Music Icons.

Highlights include (with estimates):
Adam Clayton stage-played and owned Fender, Rose Sparkle P Bass guitar, used at the recent 'U2:UV Achtung Baby Live At Sphere' Las Vegas shows ($50,000 - $70,000) as well as Clayton's stage-worn Rick Owens T-shirt, trousers and sneakers.

Mick Mars stage-played, signed 1987 Kramer KM-1 electric guitar, with custom Girls Girls Girls paint by Kline, used heavily on the Girls Girls Girls world tour from 1987-1988, and featured prominently in the music video for "You're All I Need" ($60,000 - $80,000).

Freddie Mercury pair of black nylon Onitsuka Tiger brand High-Top sneakers ($20,000 - $30,000). Mercury was first photographed wearing the white version of these boxing-style sneakers on stage in late 1979, along with red vinyl pants, sparking a new sporty image for Mercury.

Kurt Cobain handwritten Nirvana concert set list ($6,000 - $8,000) and more to be announced.


London: Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus, Criterion Building, 225-229 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HR
Tuesday, April 23rd- Monday, April 29th, 2024

Hard Rock Cafe New York
1501 Broadway-Times Square
New York, NY 10036

Exhibition: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024 - Tuesday, May 28th, 2024
Free to the public: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time daily


Music Icons
Property from the Collection of Randy Bachman

Wednesday, May 29th
10:00 a.m. Eastern Time

Music Icons

Thursday, May 30th
10:00 a.m. Eastern Time

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