guitars stolen

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The Beatles dress rehearsal for The Beatles Christmas Show at the Finsbury Park Astoria in Seven Sisters Road, London, December 1963. 


“That was the start of Beatlemania. The shows were from Christmas Eve 1963 until January 11, but sold out instantly.

“The audience screamed when they walked out, and didn’t stop screaming. George Harrison said they were the best shows they ever did, and said Finsbury Park Astoria had the best audience.[…]

“John Lennon also had his guitar stolen on the first night. Someone broke in, but that place was always being broken into. The security was lax, to say the least.

“It wasn’t just stealing instruments, either. I had people come to me, years after it closed, saying how easy it was to sneak in and that they never even paid for a ticket!”

[Rick Burton, historian and previous employee of the Finsbury Park Astoria, now the Rainbow Theatre, Islington Gazette, 23rd December 2016]


The guitar stolen from John was his 1962 Gibson J-160E jumbo acoustic, purchased from Rushworths in Liverpool at the same time as an identical one was purchased for George. The story goes that Mal Evan’s left the guitar behind by accident (it was then presumably stolen that night). Mal always noted “When I lost John’s guitar” as the lowest point of his Beatle career - and John would always tease him, “You can have your job back, Mal, when you find my guitar!”

The two guitars got confused at some point so George was playing John’s and John was playing George’s, so actually it was George’s Gibson that was pinched.

The stolen guitar turned up again in 1967 in a music shop in San Diego, where it was sold and purchased without anyone knowing who it’s prior owner was. It was sold at auction a couple of years ago, selling for $2.4 million. 

John and George buying the Gibson guitars at Rushworth’s, in September 1962 and the guitar photographed when it was last auctioned. 

Previously: Backstage at the Beatles Christmas Show and George Backstage at the Beatles Christmas Show

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On Oct, 29th, 2015, my band Right Lane Ends had about $10,000 worth of musical equipment stolen out of the back of my truck. The thieves were apparently able to pick the lock of my camper shell, and closed it again leaving no sign of forced entry- thus my insurance company can’t do anything. To anyone out there reading this, please keep an eye on Portland, Oregon (or anywhere near) craigslist, eBay and anywhere else you can think of for:

Mesa Boogie Transatlantic TA-80 combo tube amp (pic 2)

Drums from the Tama Swingstar Kit (black with clear tops and red badges) (pic 3)

Boss pedal board with DigiTech Whammy Gen 5, Morley Bad Horsie II Wah, Boss Flanger, and Boss DD-7 Delay (pic 3)

Boss ME-50B Bass multi effects unit, blue (not pictured)

Ampeg BA-115 bass amp (not pictured, missing a knob, power cable is damaged at the input)

PRS Custom 24 SE guitar with a chip in the paint on the headstock (pic 4)

Fender Stratocaster guitar- Japanese make with a single humbucker pickup and silver locking tuning pegs covered in stickers (pic 5)

Thank you everyone currently helping us and those kind Samaritans who want to help some stranger’s indie prog rock band out. We wish we could offer more in return, but all we have right now is our old ep at rightlaneends.bandcamp.com, which is free to download. The police told me that anyone trying to sell our gear at a local pawn shop would be refused for 30 days while the shop determines whether it’s been stolen or not, so we have at least that long to catch them in town. Thank you. Please reblog this like crazy until then.