lucy gibson

This is a letter written by George Harrison, concerning his guitar “Lucy” (a Gibson Les Paul) being stolen in 1973. The letter was sold by Bonhams for £1.440 on 27 April 2005.

It reads:

May 3, 1973

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

On April 13, 1973 a guitar was stolen from my home at 1129 Miradero Road, Beverly Hills, California and was subsequently reported to the police. It has since come to my attention that the guitar was sold to a company called Whalin Sound City here in Los Angeles. They in turn sold it to an individual named:

Miguel Ochoa
1896 Ave Ninos Heroes
Guadalajara, Jalisco
Mexico

The following information is to identify the guitar:

Make: Gibson Les Paul Custom
Serial #: 7-8789
Color: Cherry Red

This letter authorizes bearer to accept the guitar on my behalf if it can be recovered.

Very truly yours,

George Harrison

The backstory:

“The guitar was stolen while [George] Harrison was in L.A. [in 1973]. Through a complex of phone calls and contacts, it was found that the instrument had been hocked and re-sold to a fellow of Mexican descent. ‘I called him up,’ Harrison says, smiling wryly. ‘I said, “That’s my guitar. I want it back, and I’ll give you your money back.” He said, “How do I know it’s really you?” I said, “Okay, I’ll meet you.” A meeting was arranged, but the guy just took off, jumped in a car, and drove to Guadalajara and kidnapped my guitar! Ravi Shankar was in Guadalajara doing tv or something - it was just after the Bangladesh concerts - and Ravi went on tv saying, “He’s very upset because his guitar’s been stolen and it’s in Guadalajara!” Then he read the guy’s name on tv! 'In the end it became a bit of a ripoff. I had to pay this guy to keep flying to Guadalajara doing deals with the other guy, and I ended up having to go out and find a Les Paul of the same period and swap it for mine. I finally got it back, but it was a really good guitar, and also it had that personal thing, because it was the “[While My] Guitar Gently Weeps” guitar that Eric played, and I used it on the white album and Abbey Road.’” - Guitar World, April 1988 [x]

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George performing with Delaney & Bonnie and friends in Copenhagen, Denmark on the 10th of December, 1969. George plays to of his most famous guitars, ‘Rocky’ the Fender and ‘Lucy’ the Gibson (a gift from Eric Clapton who was one of the ‘friends’ too). I think this is one of the most significant, but overlooked, ‘events’ in the break up of the Beatles (which was going on at the time). They’re also some of my (many) favourite pictures of George! In colour!

Pics: Jan Persson / Redferns. 

Carmen Julia for Tatler Hong Kong photographed by Amar Daved; Styled by Ozzy Shah; Hair by Ernesto Montenovo; Makeup by Lucy Gibson.