The Story Of How John Lennon Got His First Guitar

The Story Of How John Lennon Got His First Guitar | I Love Classic Rock Videos

John Lennon – el perro beatle /YouTube

Every musical legend has a starting point—a moment when they first held an instrument and felt the spark of their passion ignite. For John Lennon, the iconic co-founder of The Beatles, the story of his first guitar is a testament to his determination and the humble beginnings that shaped his legendary career. From a banjo to a cheap acoustic, Lennon’s journey to becoming a guitar virtuoso began with a modest instrument and a hunger for something more.

Taught a few chords by his mother, Julia, Lennon initially found his musical outlet through a banjo. However, his fascination with rock and roll, the burgeoning skiffle movement, and the desire to explore new sounds led him to yearn for a guitar. Living with his aunt, Mimi, who was skeptical of his musical aspirations, Lennon’s dream seemed distant.

The Gallotone Champion: Lennon’s First Guitar

To support his ambitions, Julia arranged to purchase a guitar for Lennon. The chosen instrument was a Gallotone Champion acoustic guitar, an affordable option made by the South African company Gallo. Lennon, more familiar with the banjo, often played without the sixth string initially. It was only when he joined bands that he committed to learning the guitar’s proper chords and fingerings.

Skiffle and Unamplified Sounds

In the skiffle-dominated music scene of the time, Lennon’s acoustic guitar was not amplified. Pickup modifications were rare for novice guitarists, especially during the late 1950s. Lennon compensated by playing the Gallotone as loudly as possible, showcasing his raw talent. Unfortunately, this resulted in the guitar breaking just a year after he acquired it.

The Transition to Electric

As The Beatles began to form and The Quarrymen, their skiffle-focused precursor, was nearing its end, Lennon realized the need for an electric guitar. Legend has it that he acquired an electric guitar, possibly a Dallas Tuxedo, by swiping it after a performance as Johnny and the Moondogs in Manchester. However, Lennon wouldn’t own another acoustic until 1962 when he purchased a Gibson J-160E, alongside George Harrison.

“When the Beatles became successful, Lennon left the guitar in the care of his guardian, Aunt Mimi. After his murder, she gave it to a family friend who had a disabled son. When the boy died, it was passed to another disabled friend, who is now in her twenties. Her stepfather sold it to safeguard her future.” – The Times of London

The Journey Continues: The Fate of Lennon’s Gallotone

After achieving success with The Beatles, Lennon entrusted his cherished Gallotone guitar to his guardian, Aunt Mimi. Following Lennon’s tragic murder, Aunt Mimi gave the instrument to a family friend who had a disabled son. It changed hands over the years until it ultimately reached a young woman in her twenties through various circumstances. Recently, the Gallotone was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for £155,000, and it was even exhibited at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.