A guitar from the Beatles last ever gig at the Cavern Club in 1963 is to be sold at auction.
The guitar, an Australian-made Maton Mastersound MS-500 is expected to fetch between £300,000 to £400,000 when it is auctioned in Wilshire next month.
It was played by George Harrison throughout the summer of 1963 whilst his regular guitar underwent repairs. Once the guitar was returned, it was bought Roy Barber, by a guitarist with Dave Berry And The Cruisers. Their hit ‘The Crying Game’ was one of the biggest of the 1960’s.
After Barber’s death in 2000, the guitar was on display at The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool. It has previously sold at auction in New York for £373,000 in 2015.
The item didn’t, however, top the £390,653 fetched by Harrison’s black and white 1962 Rickenbacker 425 that sold at auction previously. Bought in Mount Vernon, Illinois in 1963, Harrison 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.
Speaking to the BBC, auctioneer Luke Hobbs said: “The guitar is something very special – a direct link to the early days of Beatlemania.”
He added: “We’re expecting interest from right around the world.”
Last month, Paul McCartney returned to the Cavern Club for a “secret gig” a day after speaking to students at LIPA, the performing arts school he founded in 1996. With Jarvis Cocker as host, the Beatle shared his wisdom, reflecting on his long career in the music industry.
Speaking about the gig, NME wrote: “for nearly two hours, McCartney has had one drink of water and one towel-off. He’s played a gig in the sweatiest, tiniest room possible. He’s been heckled, he’s kicked back. He’s 76 years old…He’s in a room that’s about two degrees hotter than hell and he could have filled it 40,000 times over. He’s hardcore…”
“He’s not played ‘Hey Jude’ and it doesn’t matter. Paul McCartney heads on stage likes he’s got something to prove, every time, even here at The Cavern. He only proves one thing: we’ll never see another like him.”
As well as the guitar, more Harrison memorabilia will be auctioned next month. A pair of customised Ray-Ban sunglasses that Harrison wore during the 70’s and 80’s also up for sale. They are expected to fetch more than £3000.