In the summer of 1963 George Harrison’s Gretsch Country Gentleman was experiencing problems and was taken to Barratts in Manchester to be repaired. Whilst repairs were made, shop owner Brian Higham gave the Maton to Neil Aspinall for Harrison to use. This was around the time that The Beatles appeared at The Odeon in Machester, May 30, 1963. The Country Gent was returned the same day, however, Harrison kept the Maton and played it in concert in July at The Winter Gardens in Margate, August at The Grafton Rooms in Liverpool, the day afterat a photo call at The Cavern Club in Liverpool (significantly The Beatles last performance at The Cavern Club) and early in the month at Candie Gardens, Guernsey. After the Maton was returned to Barratts, Dave Berry and The Cruisers guitarist Roy Barber swapped it for his Fender Stratocaster. He was told that the guitar was The Maton used by Harrison. Barber used the guitar for several years, later putting it into storage.
The guitar was offered at Juliens, New York in 2015 with a listed ‘sold’ price of $485,000.
It is now expected to reach a cool $800,000 when it goes up for auction September 12 in the UK. Feeling lucky? Bidding starts here.