A 1962 Rickenbacker 425 guitar purchased by George Harrison in September, 1963, during a visit to the U.S. the year before the Beatles debuted on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and used by both Harrison and John Lennon sold for $657,000 today, Julien's Auctions announced May 17. The guitar was purchased by Harrison while in Mount Vernon, Illinois on a two-week visit to see his sister, Louise.
Harrison used the guitar on several television apperances, including on The Beatles' first appearance on the television program “Ready Steady Go!” on Oct. 4, 1963, and on the program “Thank Your Lucky Stars” in December 1963. He also used the guitar during the group's October 1963 tour of Sweden and during the recording session for “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” John Lennon also played the guitar in Glasgow, Scotland, in October, 1963, the auction house said.
The sale of the guitar was part of the Music Icons, Rebels & Legends Auction event held today. There were other Beatles items sold as well. A Hofner bass guitar played by Paul McCartney sold for $125,000. A first state Beatles “butcher cover” album sleeve sold for $31,500 and a Beatles signed merchandising poster sold for $11,875. Also, an original "Bed-In" drawing signed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono sold for $187,500.
Some Elvis Presley items were also among those in the sale. An Elvis Presley white jumpsuit sold for $197,000. An Elvis Presley necklace given to “Dr. Nick” sold for $31,875. Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” shirt sold for $21,250.
In other auction highlights, a Martin acoustic guitar owned by Johnny Cash sold for $12,500. The organ used by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler to write “Dream On” sold for $28,125. A Lady Gaga headpiece designed by Philip Treacy sold for $13,750. A ring owned and worn by Janis Joplin sold for $15,000. And a Joni Mitchell stage-used guitar sold for $31,250.