paul mccartney with linda mccartney The Guitar That Launched The Beatles

Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images

The buzz that swept up fans worldwide on the heels of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Beatles'[/lastfm] “Love Me Do” in 1962 had little to do with the exact guitar John Lennon played. But the instrument was a pivotal moment in the guys’ transformation from a poor motley pop group to revolutionary music icons.

According to the feature story from, The Beatles got into the studio at Abbey Road in 1962 to work on their first single, but hit plenty of roadblocks, most of them equipment-related.

They received a stern lecture warning them to upgrade their equipment if they were serious about becoming recording artists.

Lennon listened. He worked with The Beatles’ new manager to pay off a brand new Gibson J-160E acoustic guitar, then only sold in America.

The guitar had to be specially shipped from America to England so Lennon could use it on the recordings. Using the famed acoustic guitar, then the only one of its kind found in Britain, Lennon laid down the acoustic guitar tracks for “Love Me Do,” and the single reached the masses on October 5, 1962…and a phenomenon was born.

Unfortunately, Lennon’s original Gibson J-160E acoustic guitar was stolen in 1963 and never recovered. But the impact of the instrument and its importance in Lennon achieving the sound he wanted on “Love Me Do,” will last forever.


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