This, in the photo here, is a guitar once owned by John Lennon.
- This gorgeous Gibson J-160E was bought by Lennon in September 1962, co-signed by Bealtes manager Brian Epstein and paid off in full after a year, and then disappeared at a Christmas show in December 1963.
- No one knows exactly where the guitar was from 1963 to sometime in the 1970s, when it was bought for a “couple hundred dollars” in San Diego by someone who did not learn of its origins until last year, when a friend noticed it looked a lot like a guitar he saw in a book of Beatles memorabilia.
- A brand new Gibson Gibson J-160E today costs about $2,700.00.
- Lennon’s briefly-owned J-160E is now expected to sell for between $600,000.00 to $800,000.00 at auction in November 2015.
This story raises a lot of questions for me: as a music lover, and more specifically a HUGE Beatles fan; as a musician, and more specifically a guitarist; and as an aspiring Buddhist, and more specifically an aspiring Buddhist who, while somewhat successful at non-attachment in many areas of life, is NOT so successful when it comes to music gear.
- Should a guitar purchased new for about $250 in 1962, and owned by a Beatle for only 15 months, now be worth 280 times that or more?
- If I had mountains of disposable income, would I buy this particular guitar if I could? (Answer: Yes!!!)
- How long would I feel good about the purchase? i.e. How long would it take me to get sick of hearing myself tell people that the guitar once belonged to John Lennon?
- Would I actually play — thereby adding wear and tear — such a precious instrument?
- If not, what’s the point of owning a guitar that never gets played?
- How much does coveting this guitar set me back in my pursuit of Buddhist presentmomentness? i.e. Will I be reincarnated as a $250 guitar that, rather than being sold to the next John Lennon and destined for protection and veneration, is bought by some Pete Townshend disciple?