A black-and-white 1962 Rickenbacker 425 electric guitar formerly played by Beatles guitarist George Harrison is being featured in a New York City auction. Harrison played the guitar on early television appearances in the United Kingdom for programs such as "Ready Set Go!" and "Thank Your Lucky Stars." These early performances took place before the band emerged as superstars in the United States in 1964. The pre-British Invasion Beatles relic is expected to sell for anywhere between $400,000 and $600,000.
The guitar's history
Harrison is thought to have first purchased the guitar in Mount Vernon, Ill., in 1963. In order to match the color scheme of bandmate John Lennon's guitar, Harrison had his custom painted black and white. The instrument was then used not only for television appearances, but also for the October 1963 studio sessions when "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "This Boy" were recorded. The guitar is joined at auction by an album cover signed by all four band members, a bass guitar and a piece of original artwork by John Lennon.
George Harrison joined John Lennon and Paul McCartney to form the Beatles in 1958. He was only 15 at the time, about two years younger than Lennon and McCartney. The age difference was a bit of a sticking point for Lennon, who was reluctant to let such a young musician join. Harrison was eventually allowed to be a member of the group when Lennon heard him play popular American rock songs. Despite Lennon and McCartney taking the front seat on much of the Beatles' brand and music, Harrison supplied notable influence during the band's lengthy career. He wrote the songs "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Something", which remain some of the most memorable products of the band. The guitar at auction will no doubt be a major draw to fans of the Beatles as well as music historians for its cultural and historical significance.
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