Lennon's Guitars, Part 7


1965: 1963 Gretsch 6120 (Nashville) hollow-body, orange, double cutaway model.  Ser. No. 53940.  Little is known about where this guitar came from; it was used on the "Paperback Writer" session and then apparently stuck away at Lennon's home.  Two years later Lennon gave this guitar to his cousin David Birch, who in '63 had also received a Hamburg-vintage Fender Vibroluxe amp from his cousin.  "Upstairs in John's house in Weybridge, he had his den and music room.  It was full of tape decks, keyboards, guitars, etc.  The two guitars I remember were the blue Fender Stratocaster and the Gretsch 6120.  It may have been cheeky, but I asked him did he have any spare guitars, as I was trying to get a group together while staying with Mimi in Bournemouth.  I really fancied the Fender, but that was a no-no, but he said I could have the Gretsch.  I was over the moon, as you would expect."  Birch loaned this guitar to The Beatles Story in Liverpool for display in 2010, and he remains the enviable owner of a genuine Beatle guitar, not to mention amp (below)!  As of June 2012, this guitar is on loan to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.



gretsch 6120

guiatrs1965: "Russian" acoustic:  A 1987 Harrison article in Guitar Player notes that in late '65 "all four Beatles received Russian-made nylon string guitars.  They're seen in the studio during the recording of 'Day Tripper' and 'Rubber Soul,' " yet it's doubtful these inelegant instruments ever saw action. Reportedly a gift from the Russian Embassy in London, they were of the kind commonly made in Eastern Europe and similar to one featured in a 1961 Bell's catalog (below).    Whereabouts unknown.


Onward to Part 8

(c) 2000, 2015 John F. Crowley