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Lennon gave his Gretsch 6120 guitar to his cousin, David Birch, in November 1967 – a year after the hit was recorded in April 1966 at London’s Abbey Road studios. Mr Birch said he had fancied forming his own band. “I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,” he said. “I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster lying in the studio, but John suggested the Gretsch and gave it to me.”
TracksAuction.com said yesterday that this casual favour meant Mr Birch was now in possession of one of the most significant of Lennon’s guitars to come on to the market in the past 30 years. Online bidding begins on 14 November.