John Lennon’s ‘Paperback Writer’ guitar expected to fetch £600,000 at auction

The guitar was given as a gift to Lennon's cousin David Birch in 1967

A guitar once owned by John Lennon and used to write The Beatles’ 1966 hit ‘Paperback Writer’ is expected to fetch around £600,000 at auction later this month.

The Gretsch 6120 was given to Lennon’s cousin David Birch as a gift in 1967 and will now be auctioned off at Le Meridien Hotel, Piccadilly, London on November 23.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Birch explained how the instrument came into his possession.


Visiting Lennon at his home in Weybridge, Surrey, Birch told his famous relative that he was looking to start a band of his own. “I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,” he stated. “I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster that was lying in the studio but John suggested the Gretsch and gave it to me as we were talking.”

Birch’s mother Harriet was the younger sister of Lennon’s mother Julia. The two lived near each other when Lennon lived with his Aunt Mimi in Woolton.

Lennon most notably used the Gretsch 6120 on ‘Paperback Writer’, which was recorded in April 1966 at Abbey Road Studios for the album ‘Revolver’. Currently, the guitar only has two documented owners – Lennon and Birch.

Bidding for the item begins on November 14.

Meanwhile, a rare signed vinyl of 1963 Beatles debut ‘Please Please Me’ recently fetched £22,000 at auction.

The mint pressing was sold on eBay and received a winning bid from an American buyer of $36,655 (£22,620).



The Best Films of the Decade: The 2010s

As chosen by NME

The Best Songs Of The Decade: The 2010s

Here – after much debate – are the 100 very best songs of 2010s

The Best Albums of The Decade: The 2010s

Here it is: the ultimate guide to the 100 essential albums of the 2010s, picked, ranked and dissected by NME experts