1962 Gibson J160E

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In the summer of 1962, upon learning that The Beatles had just won a recording contract, John Lennon and George Harrison special ordered two brand new Gibson “Jumbo” guitars. A couple of months later they took delivery of two identical 1962 Gibson J-160E’s in a lovely Sunburst finish.
Lennon and Harrison took to their new guitars right away and were photographed using them live and in the recording studio. Very early on, for whatever reason, the Jumbo registered to Lennon was swapped with the one registered to Harrison. In any case, Lennon and Harrison didn’t seem to notice or mind.
Photographs taken of them when they first received their guitars, and later some background photos from their movie “A Hard Day’s Night”, show what appears to be a 1950’s style Jumbo guitar case with a distinctive Brown exterior and a Pink interior. This is likely the rare and desirable “Lifton” case.
The J-160E used by Lennon was stolen a little over a year later, and he subsequently purchased a replacement Jumbo in mid-1964. However, Harrison managed to hold on to the Jumbo he used. His J-160E has the distinction of being the only Beatles guitar that has appeared on virtually every Beatles album!
Lennon seemed to prefer using Harrison’s Jumbo and is photographed playing it in both “A Hard Day’s Night” and in the memorable title song during the opening sequence of “Help!” In addition, Lennon used it in countless television and personal appearances throughout 1964 and 1965.  Photographs also reveal that Harrison’s J160E had a brown strap with a black shoulder pad, clearly mixed up with the strap from his 1963 Gretsch “flip up” Gent.
The 1962 J-160E is essentially an electric guitar that looks like an acoustic. It has a round shoulder design; 16” body; three ply laminated top and mahogany back and sides; 15 frets clear of the body; P-90 single coil pick up; volume and tone knobs; and an adjustable ceramic saddle in a rosewood bridge base.
All of these unique elements combine to give that characteristic “chug” and “chime” found on so many Beatles recordings.
The 1962 J-160E's presented in our collection are identical to the ones acquired by Lennon and Harrison right down to the Brown and Pink Lifton cases!64_J160E.html63_gent.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1
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John Lennon and George Harrison posing with their Jumbo's.
John Lennon and George Harrison officially receiving their new 1962 Gibson J-160E's.

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