One of George Harrison’s guitars, amongst other Beatles and rock memorabilia, is going to be sold at Julien’s Auctions sale on May 17 at Manhattan’s Hard Rock Cafe. The 1962 Rickenbacker 425 is estimated to go for a staggering price upwards of $600,000.
The auction is also set to feature Jimi Hendrix’s Sears Silvertone electric guitar, which is estimated to go for upwards of $100,00, and a “Beatles ’65” album signed by each member of the band that could bring in $300,000, since any album signed after the Beatlemania phenomenon ended is ridiculously rare.
Harrison first bought the Rickenbacker in 1963 in Mount Vernon, Illinois, when he visited Fenton’s Music store with his sister. He then had the guitar refinished from its original Fireglo red to black so that it’d match John Lennon’s own Rickenbacker.
What’s interesting to think about is that this sale isn’t the first of its kind, so it will be neat to see how it stacks up to its predecessors.
For example, Eric Clapton’s 1964 Gibson ES0335 TDC sold for $847,500 and his well known “Blackie” Stratocaster sold for a jaw dropping $959,000. Blackie is of particular historical note. The living legend switched from Gibson guitars to Fender ones in 1970, buying six vintage Stratocasters for just $100 a pop. He gave three of them to George Harrison, Pete Townshend, and Steve Winwood, and disassembled the three remaining ones to build Blackie.
Though Eric Clapton’s instruments haven’t been able to break the million dollar price tag, one of the remaining seven of Bob Marley’s guitars, which the Jamaican government classified as a national asset, has an estimated price of at least $1.2 million.
Even more expensive is the 1968 Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix played at the 1969 Woodstock, which was bought by Microsoft’s Paul Allen in 1998 for a cool $2 million.
As Harrison’s guitar hasn’t just been sold yet, it’s possible that, with the right crowd in attendance, his Rickenbacker may very well become the most expensive guitar ever sold.