Other Guitars

George Harrison’s First Guitar Going to Auction

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Lots of stuff to look at, some more interesting than others, but lots of history on the block. And $$$ Link

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It's going to need a neck reset and the bridge saddles correctly positioned.

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Here he is with it: George Harrison's Hofner Club 40--George's 1st Electric Guitar.

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Cool. Somebody on another forum was asking if there are any pictures of him playing it and I had never seen one.

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Cool. Somebody on another forum was asking if there are any pictures of him playing it and I had never seen one.

– Afire

I've got a couple, but this is the clearest, in the best focus; among the thousands of him I have, I usually can find most anything, except the one of my hugs, dammit!

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I wish his stolen Help/Shea Stadium Tennesean would be found. Interesting that the stolen Lennon J-160E eventually found its way over to the US with/by someone who did not know what they had, so it's possible (not likely)that the Tennessean is over here also. Rumors also persist that someone does know where the Cavern bass is but isn't talking.

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Actually it's George Harrison's first ELECTRIC guitar. From the article:

"John Lennon and George Harrison were the first to acquire electric guitars, which were nearly identical Hofner Club 40 models. Harrison traded his big Hofner President model acoustic archtop jazz guitar for the Hofner Club 40. He played the guitar with Lennon, Paul McCartney, Pete Best and Ken Brown, who were band members at the time, at The Casbah Coffee Club, a teenager’s social club in Hayman’s Green, West Derby."

Also autographed by all four Beatles....By the road manager?

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According to Beatle Lore, Neil and Mal Evans used to forge Beatle autographs on photos to meet the demand of fan requests.

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So to summarise, if we take pic A of George, horizontally flip it by 180 degrees, rotate it and patch a couple of areas from pic B, pic A looks identical to pic B?

Really?!?

Notwithstanding the ridiculousness of the idea, the pics actually look nothing alike, one’s not even got a visible jaw line!

The patching effect they allegedly uncovered by zooming in is a jpg artifact and nothing more. You can see it in the rest of that image and any low to medium res jpg.

Someone’s desperate for a conspiracy...

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OK, I'm home now and have the peace and time to read the Kirkland article properly, and have done so in case I had overlooked some fundamental piece of evidence or clue that what he was saying had some nugget of truth about it. Sadly, it 10 minutes I'll never get back.

There're so many ridiculous elements to that piece it's difficult to know where to begin. It starts pretty badly - the fact that the "Beatles experts" close to him not having seen it before being a justifiable reason to call it a Photoshop fake - but the assumptions and ludicrous "evidence" shown just turns the whole thing into a joke. I had to check the date to make sure it wasn't April 1st.

Who is this guy anyway, is he for real?

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I believe Philip Kirkland and Peter Hodgson, they are both respected investigators. There are many questions: Why has this picture only just emerged? Such photos are rare and would have been known about years ago. How do you explain the "wig" sitting on top of George's head, following the exact contours of the other photo? How do you explain the exact same angle of the head? Why are there no details about the place and occasion this photo was taken?

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I just clicked on Deke's post to 'like' it, and I got a 'noted' message as if I reported it. Anyone else seen this?

That 'evidence' is half...shall I say 'hearted'?

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Respected investigators in what sense? Trained investigators, as in ex-law enforcement? Or just huge and committed Beatle fans looking to get to the bottom of a mystery? I don't doubt their knowledge of all things Beatle, mainly because I know nothing of either of them and even less about the Beatles, but I have to raise issue with the dubious 'evidence' put forward in this particular piece.

I summarised it in my first post, but let's look at it in more depth.

Let’s assume the ‘new’ photo is Pic A, and the Bambi Kino image is Pic B. I think the allegation is that George’s face in Pic A is actually the face from Pic B, but flipped 180deg horizontally, along with various other non-specified retouches. The foundation of this allegation seems to be the apparent lack of faith in the image’s authenticity, and this lack of faith is only because a handful of so-called experts have never seen the image before.

It would appear the 2 sleuths have trawled through a mountain of George images with 1 intention; to find a previously known image of George that looks superficially similar to this one. The phrase ‘previously known’ is the key here, because they don’t seem to be able to accept there was a piece of Beatles ephemera that they didn’t know about. Back to the plot. They found an image, but damn’, he’s facing the wrong way. No problem, let’s assume the image has been mirrored. Now we have an image that is facing the right way and is taken from the same angle (we’re over looking the mirroring which would actually mean the angle is 180 different, but work with me here - it looks like the same angle). Now we can see the hair is different (apparently, that can be "added later"), and the eye “doesn’t look exactly the same” and the “mouth is fuller”. Three significant differences highlighted by the author himself, but we’ll get to at least 2 of these in a bit.

That’s when it gets interesting, because it occurs to one of them to zoom in. To a lo-res .jpg. Anyone who has been even on the periphery of the digital age will know what a lo-res .jpg looks like when you zoom in; it gets blocky, very blocky. This image is no different, in fact it is absolutely typical. Look at the nose, look at the temple, look at the dropping piece of hair. IT’S BLOCKY. Our erstwhile detectives have seized upon this and have smelled a (non-existant) rat. "It’s been pasted over!" they cry. It hasn’t.

Now it’s even more interesting, because in their haste to prove it’s been pasted in, they paste the eye and mouth from Pic A to Pic B. "Look, look”, they cry. “We’ve taken a known image of George, flipped it, added features from a dubious (in our opinion) image, and now it looks exactly like the dubious image, thus proving it’s a fake.” However, they don't suggest where these patches may have come originally.

My issues include, but are not limited to:

  • Why, just because it is previously unknown, is it assumed to be a fake?
  • How can these so called investigators not see how unlike each other those two photographs start out?
  • How can they justify so much manipulation to make them look even vaguely similar?
  • How can they not see that the final composite they came up with looks more like Ecce Homo that George Harrison? (If you don’t know Ecce Homo Google it, along with the word Zaragoza)
  • WHERE DID THE JAW LINE COME FROM? The image they suggest is the source has no jaw line. It's hidden under clothes.
  • Why? Why would anyone do this? What's to be gained?

The whole article reeks of self aggrandisement, and is borne out of the sole fact that these ‘experts’ can’t bear the thought that something existed they didn’t know about.

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And now let's pivot from a poorly substantiated expert opinion to a completely unsubstantiated, wholly subjective non-expert opinion - mine.

That picture just looks off.

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In that case, why hasn't anyone come forward to explain the "real" origin of this photo. I've been following this, and absolutely no one has been able to state where it comes from. Photos don't just appear from nowhere. One thing is to debunk someone else's theory, but no one has offered an alternative theory. I understand that you aren't an expert on The Beatles, but there is someone out there who can say when this was taken, where, and why George was there ... except there isn't, because you can't given details of something that doesn't, or didn't exist. Every early photo of The Beatles, and they are limited, is accounted for. Why not this one?

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Interesting comments. But, don't you have just one more thing?

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A year or two ago if you’d asked me if the 6120 on the cover of the ‘55 Gretsch catalogue was real, and if so does it still exist I’d have said no on both counts. Because somebody would know that, right? And it looks like a painting. But it was real and it still exists, and it only surfaced within the last year or so, and only because the current owner recognised certain characteristics similar to his and the cover model.

You guys hear about finding Richard III under a council car park? You think anyone hear believed that was anything more than a waste of time? But it wasn’t. He was even under a big white letter R.

We don’t know everything, but some people don’t seem to be able to accept that.

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And now let's pivot from a poorly substantiated expert opinion to a completely unsubstantiated, wholly subjective non-expert opinion - mine.

That picture just looks off.

– Afire

Yeh, I agree. But the ‘evidence’ offered to support the notion of a fake is flimsy, bordering on laughable.

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I don't disagree. But being that concluding that this picture is fake is a pretty low stakes proposition, I really don't demand any better evidence than my own two eyes to make the call. It's not as though somebody is going to the gallows if I'm wrong.

To my eyes, the problems are that there's something unnatural about the way he's holding the guitar and there seems to be an (again) unnatural disconnect between him and his surroundings. And I didn't notice this viewing it on my iPad the other day, but did today on my office desktop - that hair looks really suspect. I do think this is a Photoshop job.

But I also understand being annoyed with a dubious analysis being put forth as conclusive proof when you know that the points being advanced really are not conclusive. It seems that you don't necessarily disagree with the conclusion, but rather the method of proof. Totally understandable.

And I completely agree with Colombo that it's extremely surprising for a picture like this to pop up out of nowhere with nobody knowing where it came from. Don't discount the Beatle geek community's encyclopedic knowledge of every image of them. This is not a picture that could have been easily overlooked. I'm not one of those people, but even as a semi-well-informed Beatle nerd and well-informed gear nerd, I was shocked that there was a picture of George playing the Club 40 that I had never come across.

And being of the opinion that auction houses are comprised primarily of hucksters, I don't for a second discount the likelihood that somebody decided that it might be helpful to the upcoming auction to circulate a picture of George actually playing this guitar (even though there's no disputing that he really did own it).

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Here's a picture I've seen a million times that show's both George and John playing their Club 40s, though I never noticed that George was even in the picture, much less what guitar he was playing.

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Yes, the idea that the pix was put together to help sell the guitar... it's entirely plausible. The young George had a full head of hair but that does look overdone.

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If the picture was made up to help the auction, it was probably pretty unnecessary. That guitar had solid provenance anyway.

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It's been 50 years. People die and then other people go through their photo albums and find pictures. We did this when My Mother passed recently and my sister and I found photos that we had never seen. So my take is that isn't it possible that there are still pictures that not everyone has seen on the internet?

I think it's possible. Likely? Maybe not, but certainly possible.


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