A VOX guitar played by John Lennon and George Harrison was sold for $408,000 at auction Saturday.
The guitar was sold to an undisclosed buyer at the Music Icons auction at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan.
Before being placed on exhibit at the Hard Rock last week, the guitar was displayed at Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons in Ireland and the Stafford Kempinski Hotel in London.
Lennon featured the guitar in a video session for “Hello Goodbye,” while Harrison practiced “I Am The Walrus” on it. Both songs were featured on the Beatles’ 1967 album Magical Mystery Tour. The guitar was custom made by Mike Bennett and Dickey Denney, who presented it as a gift to “Magic” Alex Mardas, an engineer at Apple Records who was a close friend of the Beatles.
The guitar was estimated to bring $200,000 to $300,000.
“It’s extraordinary when you have the opportunity to offer such an amazing piece of music history as the VOX guitar played by both George Harrison and John Lennon,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions. “From Here Comes the Sun to Hello Goodbye, this guitar is truly one of the most historical pieces of music memorabilia Julien’s Auctions has ever had the pleasure of offering.”
Beatles fans also had the chance to get their hands on first and second state Butcher album (estimated between $4,000 to $6,000 and $10,000 to $20,000, respectively) and a signed copy of the Please Please Me album ($30,000 to $50,000). A copy of Lennon’s In His Own Write, signed by all four members, was estimated between $20,000 to $30,000.
“The bidding remained fast and furious throughout the entire day as Music Icons also featured a collection of over 450 items of famed music memorabilia including more items from the The Beatles, Elvis Presley … Michael Jackson, Bette Midler, The Rolling Stones, David Cassidy, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Madonna, Jimi Hendrix and many more,” Julien’s Auctions said in a news release.
Other items sold included a 1957 Gretsch Guitar owned by Conway Twitty — a.k.a. the guy from all those Family Guy cutaways — which sold for $23,750, a jumpsuit David Cassidy wore on stage that sold for $18,750, and Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” pants, which sold for $12,500.