Beatlemania will never die. Need proof? A George Harrison stage played Maton Mastersound MS500 electric guitar has sold at auction for a tidy $485,000. The Maton was loaned to Harrison by Barratt’s Music Store when his regular guitar was in for repair in 1963. He played it in concert at Margate (July 8-13), in Liverpool (August 2), at a photocall at the Cavern (August 3) and when the Beatles played Guernsey, Channel Islands (August 6-10).
The Maton was later purchased by Roy Barber, guitarist with Dave Berry and the Cruisers. Barber was told that the guitar was the Maton used by Harrison. Barber used the guitar for several years until he retired it to storage where it stayed for 20 years until 2002, when Barber’s widow auctioned the guitar at Sotheby’s.
The Australian solid-body guitar has a flame maple natural finish top, dark sides, a sunburst back, mahogany neck with a bound rosewood fingerboard and dot inlays, two pickups, a three-way pickup selector switch, two volume knobs and two-tone knobs with an input jack mounted on a black pickguard, fitted with a Bigsby vibrato and Bigsby bridge.
Harrison is famous for songs such as “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Here Comes the Sun.” He died in 2001 from lung cancer.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.