Beatles fans have reason to celebrate this year. Veteran guitar makers Gretsch are working on a replica of George Harrison’s famous Duo Jet guitar. Fans will recall Harrison flaunting the guitar on the cover of his 1987 album, Cloud Nine. This limited-edition replica of Harrison’s “first really decent guitar” is set to hit stores in May 2011. Fans will have to make a dash for this Beatles’ collectible though – only sixty Duo Jet replicas will be up for sale. The pocket pinch will be a cool $20,000 and above.
That’s quite a jump from the 75 pounds that Harrison paid for the guitar. According to Harrison, he came across it via a newspaper advertisement by a sailor. The merchant sailor in question, Ivan Hayward, however, insists word of mouth made Harrison cross his path. Harrison had only 70 pounds on him and could not afford Hayward’s asking price of 90 pounds (about $255). Hayward himself had bought the guitar three years earlier from Manny’s Music in New York City for $210. Eventually, the pair settled on a price of 75 pounds. The Beatles member paid the 70 pounds and left an I.O.U. for the remaining five.
A copy of this I.O.U. is being included with each of the Duo Jet replicas. In attempting to replicate Harrison’s famous guitar perfectly, Gretsch Guitars’ master luthier Stephen Stern has even run a CAT scan on the original. The guitar has been in use for some fifty years now and is well-known for its trebly tone.
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