While My Guitar Gently Weeps: A Look at George Harrison’s First Guitar

A very young George Harrison plucking away on his Egmond steel-strung guitar!

What was Harrison’s first guitar? According to Paul McCartney (Bacon interview), it was strictly a do-it-yourself affair.

“We got chatting on the bus and he had an interest in guitars like I did, and music. Turned out he was going to try to make one, going to make a little solidbody Hawaiian, which was like a good place to start. You didn’t have to get into the hollow body or anything, which was very difficult. And he did that, and we kind of hung out and became good friends. He did that Hawaiian thing and it wasn’t bad, real high action of course.”

There’s no record of this guitar surviving.

Egmond steel-strung Spanish style (sunburst, vintage unknown).

In one account, Harrison bought this “Beginner’s Guitar,” made in Holland by Egmond and distributed by Rosetti, from schoolmate Raymond Hughes with £3 he’d gotten from Mum. The advert for this guitar called it “the cheapest Model in our range” at four pounds, seven shillings and six pence. While trying to adjust the action, the lad accidentally unscrewed the neck from the body, but after a few weeks in the cupboard, the Egmond was rescued by fellow guitar neophyte Peter Harrison, who mended his brother’s instrument. Harrison made his show business debut with this guitar the following year at the Speke British Legion Club, where The Rebels, a skiffle group formed by the Harrisons and three mates, played their one and only gig.

This guitar — minus its machine heads — was auctioned off in London during the mid ’80s, and thanks to its anonymous British owner was on loan to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland from 1995 to 2002. In 2003 this little Egmond — now worth an estimated $800,000 — went on display at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool (above).

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