Guitar from Beatles’ final gig at the Cavern Club goes up for auction
Aug 3, 2018
The Beatles - Credit: Jan Olofsson / Getty
George Harrison played the guitar at the Beatles last ever appearance at the Cavern Cub in 1963
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.
Iconic guitar once played by The Beatles George Harrison set to fetch £400,000 at auction
THE guitar that George Harrison was photographed wearing at The Beatles' final appearance at The Cavern Club is to go under the hammer.
By SUBAN ABDULLA
PUBLISHED: Fri, Aug 3, 2018
The Harrison guitar that is going on auction. (Image: PA)
The Australian-made Maton Mastersound MS-500 is one of more than 500 guitars and rock’n’rock memorabilia to go under the hammer, including a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses owned by Harrison.
George Harrison, who died in 2001, was loaned the instrument while his regular guitar was being repaired, continued to use the guitar for several performances and was last photographed with it at The Beatles final performance at The Cavern Club on August 3 1963.
The iconic instrument, which was bought by Dave Berry and The Cruisers guitarist Roy Barber, will be sold by a UK private collected and auctioned on September 12 at Gardiner Houlgate auctions in Corsham, Wiltshire.
Auctioneer, Luke Hobbs said: “This guitar is something very special- a direct link to the early days of Beatlemania and those era-defining gigs at The Cavern Club. Just touching it makes your fingers tingle.
“We’re expecting interest from right around the world. It’s very rare for one of George Harrison’s guitars to come up for auction.
“In this case we have excellent provenance including letters and photographs. The guitar is also documented in books about The Beatles.”
After Barber’s death in 2000, the guitar remained in storage for several decades, until it was exhibited at The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool and was auctioned in New York in 2015 for 485,000 US dollars.
One of Harrison’s sunglasses are also being auctioned, a specially customised pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses from the late 1970s to early 1980s, and are expected to fetch over £3000.
George Harrison and Paul McCartney with the iconic guitar (Image: PA)
In July this year, Sir Paul McCartney played a secret gig at a replica of The Cavern Club, which was demolished in the 1970s.
The Beatles performed an astonishing 292 times at The Cavern Club between 1961 and 1963, until the fame and crowd outgrew the club’s capacity.