The Beatles Early George Harrison Guitar Discovered In Cheshire

A beginner's guitar, once owned by Beatles guitarist George Harrison, has been discovered after having been stored in a cupboard for more than half a century.

It is widely believed that Harrison’s earliest surviving guitar is an Egmond steel strung, Spanish style guitar which was advertised as “the cheapest model in our range”. The Egmond guitar, minus its machine heads, was auctioned off in London during the mid 1980s, and thanks to an anonymous British owner was on loan to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland between 1995 and 2002 before moving in 2003 to The Beatles Museum in Liverpool and is now worth an estimated $800,000.
However another beginner’s guitar once owned by Harrison has emerged which may or may not pre-date the famous Egmond.
Harrison’s first home was a basic two-up and two-down terraced house in Arnold Grove, Wavertree where he lived with his father Harold Hargreaves Harrison, a bus driver and former seaman, mother Louise, his brothers Harry and Peter, and sister Louise.
When George was five years old, the family eventually moved to a new council house at 174 Macketts Lane, Speke and it was here that George developed an interest in learning to play the guitar.
George was 14 when he developed an interest in learning to play a guitar, and purchased a second hand instrument (the Egmond) for the princely sum of three pounds from a boy at his school. His mother, Louise helped fund the purchase and despite George’s frustration at learning, his mother was highly supportive and was always encouraging him and telling him he will get there with patience and practice. George kept trying and practised until he had mastered the skill and outgrew the learning guitar.
Within a few months he explained to his mother how he now needed a new guitar, a better guitar, one that cost thirty pounds and that was electric. Louise, George’s mother had a different childhood to George, she was never encouraged to do what she wanted, so when she noticed her son’s musical talent and interest she always said yes and saved up until she could buy the thirty pound Hofner President.
In the only ever authorised biography of The Beatles, George Harrison explains ‘My mum did encourage me, she never discouraged me from anything I wanted to do, that was what was good about her and my dad.’
George’s first band went by the name “The Quarrymen”, a skiffle group founded by school friend John Lennon in 1956 with George joining in 1958 by Paul McCartney’s recommendation. Despite Lennon initially not convinced about George, he was allowed to join the band at just 14 years old. After a self-made recording of Buddy Holly covers, they moved from skiffle towards Rock and Roll causing all but John, Paul and George to leave and in 1960 they changed the name of the band for the final time to The Beatles.
From 1962 to 1965, Harold Hargreaves Harrison and his family which included George Harrison lived at 174 Macketts Lane, Liverpool while another George called George Rawlinson lived just nine doors away at 156 Macketts Lane with his mother, Esther and his father, also called George.
During this period, The Beatles enjoyed huge success and developed into arguably the UK’s greatest band.
However, this came at a price as fans of the group soon learned that George’s home address was at Macketts Lane and many of them used to visit the road and hang around outside the Harrison home hoping to catch a glimpse of their idol. On other occasions, fans would simply turn up and ask where George lived and many of them were quite innocently pointed in the direction of George Rawlinson’s house because he was also called George.
Eventually Harold Harrison and his wife Louise found the intrusion of the fans too much and moved into a new home that their son bought for them at Appleton near Warrington. On moving day, the removal men turned up in a huge van to take everything out of the house and George Harrison’s mother Louise spotted George Rawlinson down the road and asked him whether he’d like her son’s old guitar that he used to practice on as child. “He won’t be needing it now” she said and George Rawlinson gratefully accepted and it’s been in his possession ever since. The guitar that was handed over to George Rawlinson was a very basic learning guitar which is believed to precede all other known guitars owned and used by George Harrison.
This guitar is being offered by Cheshire Auctioneers, The Auction Centre on Saturday 24th June.

For more information contact Michael Bain at The Auction Centre on 01928 579796