George Harrison 'Cloud Nine': Back at the Top

Friday, December 01, 2023

In 1961, the 18-year-old George Harrison purchased his first American-made guitar, a 1957 Gretsch Duo Jet, from a former merchant seaman named Ivan Heyward, for 75 pounds sterling, after he saw an advertisement in the Liverpool Echo. After giving it good use on “Please Please Me” and “I Saw Her Standing There,” he eventually passed it to his old friend from the Beatles’ days in Hamburg, Germany, the artist/musician Klaus Voormann. When Harrison was ready to shoot the cover for his new album Cloud Nine in 1987, he retrieved his “old black Gretsch” from storage in Los Angeles, had it refurbished, and posed with it, smiling widely in front of a stratospheric backdrop. You couldn’t see his eyes because of the light flare in his sunglasses, but it’s pretty clear from the content of the album they were twinkling with mischief.

Source: Mark Leviton/


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