"Check your attic": Lost Lennon Help! guitar tipped to beat the current $2.4m Beatles six-string record at auction

A long-lost John Lennon acoustic guitar, discovered during a house move, is tipped to beat the previous Beatles gear auction record when it goes under the hammer next month in New York.

The Framus 12-String Hootenanny acoustic guitar that features on seminal recordings including Help!, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, It’s Only Love, I’ve Just Seen A Face, Norwegian Wood and more is up grabs courtesy of Julien's Auctions, as part of its Music Icons sale on 29-30 May.

We thought this guitar was gone – we thought it was lost forever

If you are in the market, Julien's hope you'll be ready to go north of the $2.4m paid for Lennon's Gibson J-160E in 2015, and possibly, just possibly, the $6m one 'lucky' buyer coughed up for Kurt Cobain's MTV Unplugged Martin in 2020.

"We got a call from a gentleman saying that my parents are just moving," says Julien Auctions co-founder Darren Julien, "and we didn't know that we had this guitar where it was. We pulled out of the attic, a guitar that my father says was a John Lennon guitar, and that Gordon of Peter and Gordon had gifted to my father."

Smells like cash

"Within three days, Mark and I were in a car going to a rural location in the UK. And we sat at the table and the champagne was being poured. And we explained to them exactly how significant this guitar is."

"And we asked was it in a case?," continues Julien's Martin Nolan, "And they said, Yeah, the case was so beat up that they threw it in the skip."

"So we went out and we got the guitar case and brought it in. And the reason was, we found photographs of the case itself in the recording studio with Lennon.

"So it really is part of the story. It could be argued that it's more historically significant than the other guitar that we sold for 2.4 million in 2015."

Lennon's $2.4m Gibson

At an unveiling for the event and guitar today Julien said, “This guitar happens to be one of the most important Beatles guitars and instruments ever to come to the auction block.

"It’s John Lennon’s Framus guitar that he used in the movie Help! He used it on the album Rubber Soul, as well as Help!”

George Harrison used it, and we have great photographs of it in the studio being played by John Lennon, George Harrison, all the Beatles are there.”

“We think this has the possibility to set a new world record,” Nolan also said at today's event. “We broke the world record for guitars in 2015 when we sold John Lennon’s Gibson J-160E.

“Then we sold Kurt Cobain’s Martin D-18E, it sold for over six-million. This could be the guitar that sets a new world record. It’s so important, so historic. We thought this guitar was gone – we thought it was lost forever.”

You can see if you fancy bidding by checking out the Hootenanny in question in the video at the top of this page. Good luck!

Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.