1959 Höfner Club 40

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With his first guitar worn out, and wanting to step-up to an electric model, John Lennon convinced his Aunt Mimi to take him to Hessy's music store in Liverpool and co-sign for a new 1959 Höfner Club 40. Lennon’s Club 40 was a blonde (natural) finished single-cutaway, small hollow bodied guitar; with a spruce top; maple back and sides; black body binding; adjustable floating bridge; and a trapeze tailpiece.
The solitary pickup was a single-coil black “bar” in the neck position. The short-scale 22-fret rosewood fingerboard joined the body at the 14th fret. The 1959 model featured a vertical headstock logo; Höfner decal on the body; and a rectangular control panel with a single volume knob and three-tone slider switches. Close scrutiny of old photographs reveal that Lennon’s guitar had a factory painted Black neck.
The Höfner Club 40 was British distributor Selmer’s version of Höfner's 125 model, which was originally introduced in 1954. Other than the Selmer guitars having serial numbers, the two UK and the European models were identical. The Club 40 (and it’s sister Club 50) guitars would be used extensively throughout the British beat era of the late 1950's and early 1960's.
Lennon purchased his Club 40 in August 1959, just before the Quarrymen began their residency at the Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool. It would be his main guitar right up until he would acquire his iconic 1958 Rickenbacker 325 the following year when The Beatles went to Hamburg.
Around the same time Lennon bought his Club 40, George Harrison also managed to trade one of his guitars with a Liverpool musician for a Höfner Club 40. Harrison’s guitar was a 1957 model and had slightly different cosmetic features. Lennon and Harrison had fallen in love with the little Höfner Club guitars the instant they first saw them.
In Hamburg, after acquiring his Rickenbacker, Lennon would briefly loan his Club 40 to Paul McCartney, whose own guitar, a Rosetti Solid 7, had disintegrated. McCartney would restring the Club 40 lefty and use it until Lennon could sell it "at a profit." McCartney, of course, would move on to become the bass player, filling the vacancy left by Stuart Sutcliffe.
The vintage 1959 Höfner Club 40 featured in our collection is identical to John Lennon’s guitar in every respect including a factory Black neck and original “D” rings to which the strap is hooked!1958_325.html57_club_40.htmlrosetti.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1shapeimage_4_link_2
John Lennon rocking his new Hofner Club 40 at The Casbah Coffee Club alongside Paul McCartney who is playing his Framus Zenith Model 17.
Paul McCartney in Hamburg during the period he temporarily borrowed John Lennon's 1959 Hofner Club 40.

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