Thursday, 14 January 2016

Gibson J-160

Back in 1962 both John Lennon and George Harrison each bought a Gibson J-160 Electro-Acoustic guitar. They cost £161 each and were bought on the knock!  Brian Epstein signed the paper work. The next day they were playing the guitars at the EMI studio for their first recording session (Love Me Do). It is well documented that in December 1963 John’s guitar was left at The Finsbury Park Astoria and disappeared. The J-160 (John’s but mostly George’s) appeared on every Beatles album. You can hear the tones of Johns guitar on such recordings as "'Til There Was You" and playing the opening chord to "All I've Got To Do" and later “This Boy”. 1601So what happened to Johns J-160? Well it surfaced again in 1967 when it showed up at Blue Guitar in San Diego. Who ever had it traded it in for another guitar and it was then purchased by one Tommy Pressley, a 21-year old carpenter's apprentice. Two years later, Pressley sold the J-160 to his friend John McCaw. John McCaw kept the guitar for 46 years. It was not recognised as Lennon;’s guitar until MacCaw took it to a meeting of guitarists where he he saw a copy of Guitar Aficionado magazine with Dhani Harrison, George's son, on the cover. Reading the feature, McCaw noticed that George's J-160 had a similar serial number to his own J-160 as well as some of the same trademark wear patterns. He soon contacted Beatles Gear author Andy Babiuk. The wood grain acts like a finger print and confirmed the guitars true origin.

For Guitar lovers the rest is history it sold at Julien's Auctions in November 2015 for $2.41 million.  McCaw told Guitar World after finding out the guitar had belonged to John Lennon. "It's too big for me. It's not going to fit in my house anymore."

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