Harrison's Guitars, Part 9

1968: Gibson J-200 acoustic (vintage unknown): Harrison got this jumbo in America in time for the "White Album" sessions and afterwards used it for Let It Be.  He can be seen playing it in the film of the same name during "For You Blue"  and later used it for "Here Comes the Sun."  It remains part of the Harrison estate.


1968: 1957 Gibson Les Paul Standard: Once upon a time John Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful had a gold-top Les Paul Standard guitar.  It found its way to Rick Derringer of the McCoys, who took the well used guitar back to Gibson and had them refinish it in cherry red.  But after that Derringer didn't fancy it any more, so he traded it in at Dan Armstrong's Manhattan shop.  Soon Eric Clapton walked in and bought it, and in 1968 Slowhand gave it to Harrison.  A few weeks later, Harrison picked Clapton up on his way to Abbey Road, where Harrison had the guitar -- and a Marshall amp -- waiting for Clapton to add his singular lead track to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."   Harrison used this guitar in the "Revolution" promo film and the sessions for Let It Be and Abbey Road (notably on "Something"). 

In the early '70s, Harrison's Beverly Hills home was burglarized, and the Les Paul stolen from under his bed; it wound up at a Guitar Center store in Hollywood, where a Mexican chap bought it for $650.  After the shop owner discovered it was Harrison's guitar, he tried to get it back, but the lucky purchaser wouldn't budge without a personal appeal from Harrison, not to mention a '58 sunburst Les Paul and a bass guitar.  Harrison still had this well traveled guitar when he passed on.

1968:1968 Fender Jazz Bass: Perhaps miffed that other guitar manufacturers were enjoying the glow -- and profit -- of Beatles association, Fender sent the band several amps and guitars, among them  a Jazz Bass for Harrison.  He used it infrequently, and there are almost no photos of him playing it, but Fender's plan paid off handsomely with another instrument they gave him (below).


1968: 1968 Fender Telecaster solidbody: This guitar, rosewood with a maple middle, was a gift from Fender and one of only two made, and arrived at EMI Studios one day in December, having made the trip from the U.S. in its own BOAC coach seat.  Used extensively on the Let It Be sessions and prominently seen and heard at the Beatles' last public performance -- the rooftop concert.  After the breakup, Harrison performed a bit with Bonnie & Delaney and gave this guitar to Delaney Bramlett.    In 1998 Bramlett, in what I consider an act of monumental ingratitude, offered it for auction through Bonham's but withdrew it after his asking price of $200,000 was not met.   In 2003 he offered it again at a Hollywood auction, insisting that Harrison had recommended he sell it before somebody killed him for it.  Ed Begley Jr., bidding for Olivia Harrison, bought it for more than $470,000, including taxes and premiums.  So the fabled Rosewood Tele has come home. 

Onward to Part 10

(c)2000, 2015 John F. Crowley