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John Lennon Guitar Sold in Auction

September 15, 1999

LONDON (AP) _ The acoustic guitar John Lennon was playing the day he met Paul McCartney has been sold at auction for $224,000.

The pair met on July 6, 1957, when Lennon was a member of the pre-Beatles group called the Quarrymen. The encounter resulted in the 15-year-old McCartney being asked to join the group, which eventually evolved into the Fab Four.

The Gallotone Champion, which Sotheby’s billed as the earliest Beatles-related guitar to come on the market, was bought by a telephone bidder during an auction held Tuesday at London’s Hard Rock Cafe.

The buyer, a New York investment fund manager who did not want to be identified, released a statement through Sotheby’s saying he considered Lennon ``one of the most important, if not the most important, musician of the 20th century.″

Lennon bought the black-and-red guitar by mail order before playing at a picnic at St. Peter’s Church in Woolton near Liverpool.

McCartney approached Lennon later that evening and impressed Lennon by teaching him the chords and words to Eddie Cochran’s ``Twenty Flight Rock.″

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