George Harrison's first electric guitar going on the auction block later this month
Written by Classic Rock 93.9 on May 4, 2018
The first electric guitar ever owned by George Harrison, a Hofner Club 40 model that the late Beatles legend acquired in 1959, will go up for bid at Julien’s Auctions’ upcoming “Music Icons” memorabilia sale at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City on May 19.
The instrument is expected to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000 at the event, which is the same auction featuring the historic 1965 Fender Telecaster owned by The Band‘s Robbie Robertson, which Bob Dylan also played.
Harrison obtained the Hofner Club 40 when he traded a Hofner President acoustic jazz guitar with Ray Ennis of The Swinging Blue Jeans. At the time, the Beatles were still called the Quarrymen. George played the guitar through his early years with the Fab Four, and gave up possession of it in 1966, after Beatles manager Brian Epstein convinced him to donate it as the prize in a band competition promoting the Fab Four’s upcoming tour of Germany.
The winning band was a German group named Faces, and Harrison’s guitar wound up in the hands of Faces singer/guitarist Frank Dostal, who kept it until his death last year. Dostal’s widow then decided to sell the historic instrument.
Harrison’s Hofner Club 40 and Robertson’s Telecaster are among hundreds of collectibles hitting the block at the Music Icons auction. Other items up for bid include a 1963 Epiphone Granada guitar that Eric Clapton played while he was in The Yardbirds, a 1968 Fender Telecaster custom-made for Elvis Presley, a set of lyrics to “Blowin’ in the Wind” handwritten by Bob Dylan in 2011, and a 1963 Beatles set list handwritten by Paul McCartney and also featuring John Lennon‘s and Ringo Starr‘s signatures.
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