A Maton Mastersound guitar that belonged to George Harrison has sold for $485,000 (£308,000) at auction. The late Beatle played the instrument at nearly a dozen gigs in July and August 1963, including a hometown show in Liverpool.
According to Julien’s Auctions, the Maton guitar was loaned to Harrison by Barratts Music Store to use while his famous Country Gent was being repaired. It was later bought by Roy Barber, guitarist with Dave Berry and The Cruisers, who was informed of its previous owner. Barber played the instrument for several years until he retired it to storage where it stayed for two decades. Following Barber’s death, his widow auctioned the guitar at Sotheby’s in 2002.
This latest auction took place at New York’s Hard Rock Café, Rolling Stone reports. Other items to go under the hammer included a black sequined glove that belonged to Michael Jackson, the leotard and bra worn by Britney Spears in the video for ‘Overprotected’, and Elvis Presley’s marriage certificate to Priscilla Beaulieu and tour bus. But it was used guitar that sold for the highest bid.
The item didn’t, however, top the £390,653 fetched a year ago by Harrison’s black and white 1962 Rickenbacker 425. He bought that guitar in Mount Vernon, Illinois in 1963 and played it during performances that same year on shows Ready Steady Go! and Thank Your Lucky Stars. It was also used in the studio during the recording of ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and ‘This Boy’ in October 1963.
Earlier this week, it was announced that The Beatles’ 1967 album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonley Hearts Club Band’ is to be taught to GCSE music students. Britain’s biggest exam board, the AQA, recently outlined plans for all students to study three songs from the LP – ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’, ‘With A Little Bit Of Help From My Friends’ and ‘Within You Without You’ – as part of their education.
They will be asked to study the melody, harmony structure and rhythm – and the meaning of the lyrics which, in the case of ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ in particular, have been debated by Beatles’ fans for years.