Museum: Electric Guitars

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1955 Hofner Club 40

The story goes that John Lennon bought his Hofner Club 40 in 1959 with help from his aunt, who was adamant that young John needed a good guitar. Lennon played that guitar in the very early part of the Beatles' Liverpool-era career for about a year before replacing it with his first Rickenbacker sometime in 1960 while in Hamburg. The Hofner Club 40 is the first electric guitar that's in the photo-record of John Lennon. Paul played the guitar strung lefty for sometime before John sold the instrument; and where it is today is anyone's guess. John's Club 40 is a slightly later version of the model, and differs from this example in it's finish, headstock ornamentation, and pickup style.

This '55 Club 40 is a beautiful guitar with a very unique tone. It's clear and articulate, but still very warm -- and without mushiness in the low end. It's in very fine condition, and has excellent playability. The neck angle is perfect, frets are level and the neck isn't bowed or warped. Electronics are 100% original and in perfect working order, too. The original pickguard is in pieces, so we fabricated a tortoise-celluloid reproduction in shop. It's not a forgery, but the shape and mounting hardware are original. The guitar is otherwise 100% original. There is evidence that other tuning machines were once on the guitar, but the current set are original issue.

Hollow body construction with a carved spruce top and flat maple back and sides; 3 piece maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and two-tone celluloid overlay. Fuma pickup with rhythm, bass, treble switching and volume control. Round, deep neck carve with a compact feel. 24-1/4" scale, 1-5/8" nut width.

With original hardshell case

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