John Lennon's Missing Harmonica Found After 50 Yrs

Monday, April 01, 2024

John Lennon’s long-lost Hohner harmonica, featured on Beatles classics such as “From Me To You” and “Please Please Me,” has been found over fifty years after it first went missing.

The Association of Chromatic Harmonicas (ACH!), the leading harmonica historical society, announced Monday that the 1959 Model-C Chromatica Harmonica had been rediscovered and that the instrument had been mailed to John’s son Sean in a padded envelope with signature requested.

The story of this legendary harmonica begins in 1960 as the Beatles (John, Paul, and George with then-members Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe) traveled through the Netherlands by Volkswagen van on their way to their first Hamburg residency. Allen Williams, their manager at the time, stopped in Arnhem when Pete requested a bathroom break. As the group stepped into De Oude Mondharmonicawinkel (Ye Olde Harmonica Store) to use the facilities, Lennon slipped a harmonica into the pocket of his trousers. Not to be outdone, McCartney nicked a few licorice drops from a bowl at the cash register.

It was Beatles producer George Martin who first suggested that Lennon try blowing into the instrument rather than just slapping it against his arm. Before long, he had mastered the harmonica well enough to add it to the Beatles’ first single, “Love Me Do.” But not everyone in the group was happy with John’s new toy. When George Martin asked the group if there was anything that they didn’t like about the song, George Harrison said “Yeah, I don’t like John’s harmonica.” Nevertheless, Lennon continued to play the instrument on many of the Beatles’ earliest recordings.

Source: Scott Freiman/


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