The legendary Gibson J-160E guitar that John Lennon reportedly used to record "Love Me Do" and other iconic Beatles hits more than tripled its projected winning bid at an auction this weekend. The guitar, originally estimated to pull around $800,000, ended up selling for an astronomical $2.41 million. "It’s such an important part of Lennon’s career and Beatles history," Darren Julien, the auction’s founder, told Reuters. "I had no idea it would go over $2 million."
The guitar, pictured above, wasn’t the only piece of Beatles history to top $2 million at the auction. A drum head used during their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 fetched a healthy $2.1 million, according to the New York Daily News. The auction, an apparent smorgasbord of enviable pieces of rock memorabilia, also saw Kurt Cobain’s MTV Unplugged sweater land an impressive $140,800. According to Seattle’s KIRO 7, the sweater was obtained via a Cobain family friend.
As the oft-repeated legend goes, this particular Lennon guitar was originally stolen in 1963 during a Christmas show before later being purchased by someone completely unaware of its history. John Lennon only owned the guitar for roughly a year, though that was clearly long enough for him to use it to pump out a few classics.