Circa 1959-60 Beatles John Lennon's Presidents HOFNER Guitar Serial Number 6689 Documented Provenance From Rock Roadie.
Guitars owned by John Lennon rarely come up on the market. Hofner is one of the first guitars of John's going back to the early days in Liverpool 1960ish. This German made Hofner "President" model circa 1959/60 with serial number 6689 was given to Tappy Wright at his 21st birthday by John Lennon as a birthday gift. Tappy confides, "I was never going to sell this. It was the only guitar that I was going to keep because it was so personal to me."
John Lennon and Tappy Wright's friendship is documented in his book Rock Roadie on page 56.
'Tappy' was there at the beginning when Eric Burdon and the boys formed the Animals and when they recorded their anthem 'House of the Rising Sun'. He was there at the end when they re-formed for a world tour in the early 80s. He was also there when unknown guitarist Jimi Hendrix played to a handful of punters in a smoky American club and next day recorded one of his biggest hits 'Hey Joe'. He regularly took Jimi and his band to the VD clinic as groupies gave them more than their bodies.
Among many others, Tappy looked after superstar Tina Turner and her fiery husband Ike on their first ever tour of the UK. He has seen it all, done it all, been jailed, 'press ganged' into the US Army as a deserter, came close to joining the Monkees, was witness and victim to early racism in the music business and has seen drugs kill and destroy.
It is because of this relationship that the Animals organized a party for their buddies birthday in December of 1964. "They wanted to see me turn "21" in style." Tappy reminices. "The guest list was to be a little special. Here I was a kid, and I never thought of myself being surrounded by London's glamourous."
The book reads: With all the black long eyelashes I barely glanced at the Lads. The music and lights were turned down, and then a huge cake came down. The crowd was singing happy birthday. I was ordered to blow out the candles Eric Burden shouts "Come on Tappy One Tap for the Wish." I lunged forward, and just then a hand grabbed the back of my neck. With one swift push my whole face was in the cake. I pulled myself free, wiping the icing and cream from my eyes. The room bursted in laughter and applause.
Laughing hardest was the culprit, standing next to me, "Happy Birthday Tappy" said John Lennon, Nice Cake."
"Yea John you should try some" I put my hand into the splattered remains of the birthday cake, before John could stop laughing, I plastered a sticky layer over his face. I caught site of Eric and wondered if he had really apprecaited me covering his famous friends face. John Lennon stood there for a moment, then stuck out his tongue and licked his lips. "Yea its good" he said appraisingly. Hilton Screams out "Fight Fight" and he scooped up a handful of cream and missed Eric and caught Brian Jones.Soon the whole club was like a riot and throwing cake and cream all over the bare legs....The owner of the St. James was not amused and after apologies and stating we would pay for the damages. We saw our way out we left laughing most original 21st birthday and our first with John Lennon.
After the party Lennon asked Tappy to hold the guitar for him. He took it back home and held onto it. Weeks went by and Tappy tried to get a hold of Lennon which was nearly impossible as the Beatles fame increased by the second. Lennon finally contacts Tappy. John says to me" Tappy you play guitar don't you? He says "Good cake, Happy Birthday!" Tappy laughs, remembering the night.
The lack of photographic evidence of Lennon with this Hofner President's Guitar suggests that he probably used this guitar at home for writing purposes. It seems highly probable that Lennon may have purchased this Hofner President during his stint in Germany in 1960 of the following year. More importantly, It is significant the John Lennon had this guitar during those early years of the sixties and that it was with him right at the beginning writing suce classics as: Please Please Me, There's A Place, I feel Fine, Help, Ticket To Ride.
Putting speculation aside, it is true that John Lennon guitars with documented provenance are incredibly scarce and few have been available.
Tappy Wright Rock Roadie
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