John Lennon’s previously-lost ‘Love Me Do’ guitar to be sold at auction

The item, relocated after 50 years, is expected to fetch between £400,000 and £500,000

The guitar used by John Lennon for The Beatles‘ first ever single, ‘Love Me Do’, was recently located after it had been lost for 50 years. Now, the item is set to be sold at auction.

‘Love Me Do’ was originally released in 1962 in the UK, later reaching Number 1 in the US two years later. The J-160E Gibson was used by Lennon in 1962 but mysteriously disappeared in 1963, thought to be lost forever.

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However, as The Guardian reports, an amateur musician named John McCaw claims to have purchased the item for “a few hundred dollars” in San Diego during the 1970s. Having noticed the similarities of his guitar with that of Lennon’s whilst reading a book by Andy Babiuk, McCaw approached the Beatles expert to authenticate the piece of memorabilia. Stating that when approached by fans “99 percent of the time it’s nothing”, it was later found that the guitar’s serial number matched that of Lennon’s original.

The guitar – also used to record such songs as ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and ‘She Loves You’ – is set to be sold at Los Angeles at auction house Julien’s Auctions from November 6-7. It’s expected to fetch between £400,000 ($600,000) and £500,000 ($800,000). Before its auction, the item will be on show at an exhibition at LBJ Presidential Library in Austin and the Grammy Museum in LA.

Meanwhile, Paul McCartney recently compared collaborating with Kanye West to working with John Lennon. He told The Sun, “When I wrote with John, he would sit down with a guitar… We’d ping-pong till we had a song. [Working with West] was like that.”

McCartney also explained how the story behind The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ helped inspired West’s ‘Only One’. “We sat around and talked an awful lot just to break the ice,” he said. “One of the stories I told him was about how I happened to have written ‘Let It Be.’ My mum came to me in a dream when she’d died years previously. I was in a bit of a state — it was the Sixties and I was overdoing it. In the dream she said, ‘Don’t worry it’s all going to be fine, just let it be.’ And I woke up and thought, ‘Woah’ and wrote the song. I told Kanye this and he said, ‘I’m going to write a song with my mum.’ So then I sat down at the piano.”