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JOHN LENNON’S LOST 1965 “HELP!” GUITAR FOUND IN AN ATTIC AFTER 50 YEARS COMES UP FOR AUCTION

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Auctions, the industry-leading music memorabilia auction house, announced this week 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 29 th , and Thursday, May 30 th , 2024 live at Hard Rock Cafe in New York and online at
juliensauctions.com.

Photo from Julien’s Auction
Photo from Julien’s Auction


A recording of the live stream of the press conference can be viewed on Julien’s Auctions YouTube.

Photo from Julien’s Auction

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 US$600,000-$800,000/ HK$4,680,000 – 6,240,000 and set a new world record for the highest-selling Beatles guitar.

Photo from Julien’s Auction


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 and numerous photographs taken by Beatles Monthly Book (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 Beatles’ recording of “Girl” during the Rubber Soul sessions and on the rhythm track for ‘Norwegian Wood’ played by George Harrison.

Photo from Julien’s Auction

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 that can also be seen in photos taken of the Beatles in 1965 – in the trash and rescued it.

Photo from Julien’s Auction

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.” In an emotional reunion, Julien’s Auctions brought this cherished guitar to Ringo Starr, reconnecting the two and rekindling memories of their magical era together. “After so many years, I’m happy to see this guitar again. Thanks to a little ‘help’ from my friends at Julien’s” said Ringo Starr.

Photo from Julien’s Auction

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 US$2.4 million, Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drum kit, which sold for a record US$2.2 million, The Ludwig Beatles Ed Sullivan Show drumhead, which sold for a record price of US$2.1 million, and The Beatles White Album, owned by Ringo Starr, that sold for US$790,000.

This announcement joins the previously announced auction of rock legend Randy Bachman’s collection of over 200 museum-quality guitars used on classic rock’s greatest hits “These Eyes,” “Takin’ Care of Business,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” and “American Woman.”

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Julien’s Auction

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