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John Lennon’s ‘Paperback Writer’ Guitar Heading to Auction

Express Newspapers, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

The guitar John Lennon used on the recording of the Beatles‘ 1966 hit ‘Paperback Writer’ is going up for auction. The instrument, a Gretsch 6120, has been in the possession of Lennon’s cousin David Birch since he received it as a gift from the Beatle in 1967. It’s expected to bring in somewhere between $640,000 to $960,000 at auction later this month.

”I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,” Birch told the Telegraph. “‘I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster that was lying in the studio, but John suggested the Gretsch and gave it to me as we were talking.” Birch’s mother Harriet was a younger sister of Lennon’s mother, Julia.

‘Paperback Writer’ was recorded in April 1966 during the sessions that would yield the classic ‘Revolver’ album, and though it was primarily the creation of Paul McCarteny, Lennon added his distinct touch to the song with that Gretsch, serial no 53940.

‘Paperback Writer,’ backed with ‘Rain,’ was the Beatles 11th U.K. single and, like the 10 before it, it hit No. 1. It was also a chart topper in the U.S. and many other spots around the globe.

Listen to the Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’

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