John Lennon’s long-lost Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar is up for grabs at Julien’s Auctions’ upcoming Music Icons auction, and it’s certainly an iconic piece of music history.

“It’s incredible,” Julien’s Auctions Executive Director Martin Nolan tells ABC Audio. “Presumed lost for 50 years.”

The guitar, purchased in 1964, was passed from Lennon to Gordon Waller of Peter and Gordon in late 1965; Waller then gave it to their road manager. It was only recently discovered in the 90-year-old road manager’s attic.

The guitar is an important part of The Beatles history, having been played on songs like “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “Help!” George Harrison even played it on “Norwegian Wood.” And Beatles member Ringo Starr recently got to relive that history when he was reunited with the instrument at his home.

“We brought the guitar and he was so genuinely excited to see it and to play it and to take photographs with it,” Nolan shares. “He loved holding it and just reminiscing.”

Another person who’ll be reunited with the guitar is Lennon’s son Julian Lennon, who was photographed in the studio with it in 1965. Julian is also selling items in the auction, and Nolan notes, “Of course, Julian will come to see this before we gavel it to the new owner.”

While Nolan says The Beatles probably only spent about $100 on the guitar, its new owner will have to shell out a whole lot more, with bids already over $1 million.

“It could go a lot higher,” Nolan says. “There’s great interest in this. It’s so iconic. It’s very special.”

Julien’s Auctions’ Music Icons auction is happening May 29 and 30 in New York and online. More info can be found at

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