John Lennon's Lost "Help!" Guitar Discovered After 50 Years

Greatest Beatles guitar ever to come to market and more highlights announced for June Music Icons sale

April 23, 2024

John Lennon’s Lost 1965 “Help!” Guitar Found in an Attic After 50 Years Comes Up for Auction

Historic Discovery of Lennon’s Framus 12-String Hootenanny Acoustic Guitar that Created The Beatles’ Iconic 1960s Era Sound and Magic

Broke Ground in Seminal Recordings, Sessions and Performances: “Help!” “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” “It’s Only Love,” “I’ve Just Seen A Face,” “Norwegian Wood,” “Girl” and More

The Fab Four Find of the 21st Century Expected to Set World Record for Highest Selling Beatles Guitar at Julien’s Auctions Music Icons Two-Day Event at Hard Rock Cafe in New York

A Pantheon of Greatest Stage-Played Guitars & Rock and Roll’s Most Iconic Items Announced:

Adam Clayton, U2, Las Vegas Residency Fender Rose Sparkle Precision Bass Guitar

Mick Mars, Mötley Crüe, Kramer T-Style "Girls Girls Girls" Guitar

Michael Jackson Stage-Worn 1984 Victory Tour "Billie Jean" Jacket

Tina Turner Gianni Versace 1996-97 "Wildest Dreams Tour" Ensemble

Joan Jett “Dirty Deeds" Music Video Cropped Jacket

The Kings Trust and the Teen Cancer Fund Charity Initiatives to Feature Items from The Who, Mark Knopfler, Helen Mirren, Phil Collins, Al Pacino, Ringo Starr, Pierce Brosnan, Rod Stewart, Lewis Hamilton, Elton John, Emma Bunton, Sam Smith, Nicko McBrain, Taron Egerton and More

Wednesday, May 29th, and Thursday, May 30th, 2024

Fans Can View the Help! Guitar and Music Icons Highlights on Display April 23rd – April 29th at Hard Rock Cafe ® in Piccadilly Circus & Hard Rock Cafe ® in New York May 22nd - May 28th

London– (April 23rd, 2024) –Julien’s Auctions, the industry-leading music memorabilia auction house, announced today from Hard Rock Cafe ® in Piccadilly Circus that that one of the most historically important Beatles guitars in rock history – John Lennon’s long-lost Framus 12-string Hootenanny acoustic guitar, used in the recording of The Beatles’ Help! album and film and many of the Fab Four’s other seminal hits from the 1960s – will headline Julien’s Auctions’ blockbuster MUSIC ICONS two-day auction event taking place Wednesday, May 29th, and Thursday, May 30th, 2024 live at Hard Rock Cafe in New York and online at

A recording of the live stream of this morning’s press conference can be viewed HERE.

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This extraordinary guitar, long forgotten and believed to have been lost, was recently found in an attic in the UK after being unseen for over 50 years. Considered the most important Beatles guitar ever to come to market, it is expected to exceed its estimate of $600,000-$800,000 USD £485,000- £647,000 GBP and set a new world record for the highest-selling Beatles guitar.

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The Beatles’ arsenal of guitars and instruments would become as legendary and celebrated as their music, from their earliest recordings to the 1960s height of Beatlemania, when this Framus 12-string acoustic guitar would first appear. It was famously seen in the Beatles’ Help! film, notably in in the memorable scene where they perform “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” and other scenes, as well as numerous photographs taken by Beatles Monthly (Beatles fan club magazine) publisher Sean O’Mahoney, who had full access to the Beatles during their 1965 Help! recording sessions, where the guitar can be heard on ‘Help!’ ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’, ‘It’s Only Love’ and ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face’ and more. The Framus Hootenanny 12-string can also be heard on the The Beatles’ recording of “Girl” during the Rubber Soul sessions and on the rhythm track for ‘Norwegian Wood’ played by George Harrison (photo left credit: Beatles Book Photo Library).

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By the mid to late 60s, the famous Framus was in the possession of Gordon Waller of Peter & Gordon, who later gave the Hootenanny 12-string guitar to their road managers. It was recently discovered in an attic in the rural British countryside where it had lain forgotten and unplayed for over 50 years. The homeowners found the guitar in the midst of their move and contacted Julien’s Auctions. Executive Directors and Founders, Darren Julien and Martin Nolan, traveled to the UK and immediately recognized that this was indeed the storied Help! guitar. While on the premises, they also discovered the Framus’ original guitar case - a Maton Australian-made guitar case (photo left) that can also be seen in photos taken of the Beatles in 1965 - in the trash and rescued it (photo left & right: Beatles Book Photo Library).

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“The discovery of John Lennon’s Help! guitar that was believed to be lost is considered the greatest find of a Beatles guitar since Paul McCartney’s lost 1961 Höfner bass guitar,” said Darren Julien, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Julien’s Auctions. “Finding this remarkable instrument is like finding a lost Rembrandt or Picasso, and it still looks and plays like a dream after having been preserved in an attic for more than 50 years. To awaken this sleeping beauty is a sacred honor and is a great moment for Music, Julien’s, Beatles and Auction history.”

The industry’s leading rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia auction house has broken world records with the sale of Beatles memorabilia, including a previous John Lennon acoustic guitar, which sold for a record $2.4 million, Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drum kit, which sold for a record $2.2 million, The Ludwig Beatles Ed Sullivan Show drumhead, which sold for a record price of $2.1 million, and The Beatles White Album, owned by Ringo Starr, that sold for $790,000.

Additionally, Julien’s announced today their first lineup of exceptional highlights and collections, that will include some of the world’s greatest stage-played guitars, instruments, wardrobe and memorabilia that have made pop culture history. Over 1,000 rock relics owned and used by the likes of AC/DC, Adam Clayton, Amy Winehouse, Joan Jett, Michael Jackson, Motley Crue, Nirvana, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Guns N' Roses, The Grateful Dead, Judas Priest, Heart, Queen, Tina Turner, Tupac Shakur and many more still to be announced, will be offered at their marquee event Music Icons.

Highlights include (with estimates):

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Adam Clayton stage-played and owned Fender, Rose Sparkle P Bass guitar, used at U2 Las Vegas residence ($50,000 - $70,000) as well as Clayton’s stage-worn Rick Owens T-shirt, trousers and sneakers.

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Mick Mars stage-played, signed 1987 Kramer KM-1 electric guitar, with custom Girls Girls Girls paint by Kline, used heavily on the Girls Girls Girls world tour from 1987-1988, and featured prominently in the music video for “You’re All I Need” ($60,000 - $80,000).

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Tina Turner custom Gianni Versace dress worn during her 1996-97 "Wildest Dreams Tour" ($4,000 - $6,000).

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Amy Winehouse Black Fendi dress custom made for Amy at the opening of the Fendi store in Paris France for Paris Fashion week.

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Joan Jett cropped jacket with multi-color sequined decorations, worn in the “Dirty Deeds" music video and on stage and backstage circa 1989 on tour and at a residency at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway March 1-March 5, 1989 ($5,000 - $7,000).

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Michael Jackson stage-worn 1984 Victory Tour "Billie Jean" jacket designed by Bill Whitten who famously designed Jackson's crystal glove and socks. The jacket was exhibited at the Grammy Museum from 2018 to 2021 ($80,000 - $100,000).

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Freddie Mercury pair of black nylon Onitsuka Tiger brand High-Top sneakers ($20,000-$30,000). Mercury was first photographed wearing the white version of these boxing-style sneakers on stage in late 1979, along with red vinyl pants, sparking a new sporty image for Mercury.

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Kurt Cobain handwritten Nirvana concert set list ($6,000-$8,000) and more to be announced.

Music Icons’ charity initiatives will be part of the event in the sale of several iconic items offered by The Kings Trust. A constellation of star items such as Chet Atkins’ guitar donated by Mark Knopfler; Helen Mirren’s dress designed by Stella McCartney worn to the premiere of The Queen in NYC circa 2006; two signed Barbra Streisand record albums Guilty and The Broadway Album; Phil Collins’ jacket by Armani, stage-worn at the Phil Collins Not Dead Yet tour 2017-2019; items from Ringo Starr such as a Peace Hand Statuette with added drumsticks and signed Beats & Threads hardcover book; Elton John’s Gucci jacket; Al Pacino signed script and clapper board from The Merchant of Venice; Sting’s signed bass guitar; Emma Bunton (of The Spice Girls) signed stage-worn high heels and color snapshot; artwork created and signed by Pierce Brosnan; a suit worn by Rod Stewart; Lewis Hamilton signed miniature collectible racing helmet and more.

Items to benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust, a cancer care and support charity in the UK that exists to improve the cancer experience of young people aged 13–24, were additionally announced, including several items from The Who, such as a Roger Daltry signed T-shirt, Tommy poster signed by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and Friends poster from the 2023 shows signed by Roger Daltrey, a Mick Hutson signed stamped glossy black and white print of The Who, as well as a Mick Hutson stamped glossy black and white print of Van Morrison on stage, hand signed by Mick and Van Morrison, a signed Wet Leg drumhead, Sam Smith photographic print and a Remo Drum skin and drum sticks signed by Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain, Poppys Meat-Cuts print out poster signed by Taron Egerton and more.

Today’s announcement joins the previously announced auction of rock legend Randy Bachman’s collection of over 200 museum quality guitars used on classic rock’s greatest hits “These Eyes,” “Takin' Care of Business,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” and “American Woman.”

An exhibition of these highlights will be on display in the window of Hard Rock® Cafe Piccadilly Circus in London from Tuesday, April 23rd to Tuesday, April 30th and will travel for an exhibition in New York taking place Wednesday, May 22nd to Tuesday,May 28th at Hard Rock® Cafe New York before its auction.


UK exhibition

London: Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus Criterion Building 225-229 Piccadilly London W1J 9HR Tuesday, April 23rd- Tuesday, April 29th, 2024


Hard Rock Cafe New York

1501 Broadway-Times Square

New York, NY 10036

Exhibition: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024 – Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

Free to the public: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time daily


Music Icons

The Randy Bachman Collection

Wednesday, May 29th

10:00 a.m. Eastern Time

Music Icons

Thursday, May 30th

10:00 a.m. Eastern Time

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Julien's Auctions

For the moments that matter.

You know that moment when the lights dim, right before your favorite band starts playing? Or that feeling right before the credits roll on a movie that changed your whole world in an instant? The air is charged with anticipation and words are never going to do it justice because you just really had to be there.

At Julien's, we exist to bring those moments back into your life through iconic artifacts and one-of-a-kind collections. Whether collaborating directly with artists, partnering with legendary estates, or working closely with discerning collectors, our auctions make culture pop with the promise of discovery and reconnection. From Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Ringo Starr to Lady Gaga, Banksy, and Kurt Cobain-from LA to the world, we are where originals find their kind.

About Hard Rock®:

Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies with venues in over 70 countries spanning 290 locations that include owned/licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops®, Live Performance Venues and Cafes. HRI also launched a joint venture named Hard Rock Digital in 2020, an online sportsbook, retail sportsbook and internet gaming platform. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's largest and most valuable collection of authentic music memorabilia at more than 87,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe. In 2023, Hard Rock Hotels was honored by J.D. Power's North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study as the number one Upper Upscale Hotels brand in Outstanding Guest Satisfaction for the fourth time over the last five years. Hard Rock was also honored by Forbes among the World's Best Employers, as well as Best Employers for Women, Diversity and New Grads, Best Brands for Social Impact, Customer Service All-Star and a Top Large Employer in the Travel & Leisure, Gaming, and Entertainment Industry. HRI became the first privately-owned gaming company designated a U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal in 2021, and has since been honored threefold. In the 2022 Global Gaming Awards, Hard Rock was named Land-Based Operator of the Year for the second time in four years. In 2021, Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos received first place ranking in the Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey conducted by Bristol Associates Inc. and Spectrum Gaming Group for six of the last seven years. Hard Rock International currently holds investment grades from primary investment rating agencies: S&P Global Ratings (BBB) and Fitch Ratings (BBB). For more information on Hard Rock International, visit or


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Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus

Shannon O’Farrell


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