2010 José Ramirez Instrumentos Para Rondalla “GH”

In the spring of 1963, on his way home to Germany after vacationing in Tenerife with his friends the Beatles, Klaus Voormann decided to stop in Madrid, Spain. While there, he purchased a nylon-stringed classical lower end student guitar from the noted Ramírez guitar shop.
Voormann wanted to become a proficient classical guitarist. Instead, his guitar would soon find it's way into the hands ofGeorge Harrison and be featured in the Beatles' first film "A Hard Day's Night and on their classic recordings "And I Love Her" and "Till There Was You".
By mid 1963, at the suggestion of the Beatles, Voormann left his native Germany with a plan to settle in Britain to help launch a career as an artist. His old friends from the Hamburg days were doing quite well by now and offered him a place to stay at their flat in London.
This is where Harrison first spotted the Ramírez. Some Beatles folklore has it that Harrison traded his 1957 Gretsch Duo Jet with Voormann for it. In interviews around this time period, Harrison expressed his admiration for noted classical guitarist Andrés Segovia and wished he could play like him.
Harrison's guitar has the striking Blue sound hole label identifying it as a "Rondalla". While some of the Ramírez student models are made by other manufacturers to Ramírez specs, these "Rondalla" instruments are often purchased in random job lots and simply relabeled for resale. The quality can vary considerably, particularly in the older models.
These guitars are never dated so there is no way to know exactly when Harrison's "Rondalla" was manufactured. As to the full text on the label, "Instrumentos Para Rondalla" essentially means "Instruments for making the rounds serenading"."Rondalla" comes from the word "ronda", which in Spanish means "Serenata" or serenade. "Serenatas" is a old Spanish custom to play and sing romantic music with guitars to "señoritas" next to their windows during the night.
Harrison's "Rondalla" is so unique that in 50 years no other Ramírez guitar with the exact same specifications has been seen. It has the following one-off features: unique rosette, a long box, smaller than usual; an elongated head stock detail; 20 frets rather than the usual 19; a plate on the bridge; and the bridge rounded at the edges.
Interestingly, in the late 1960's, John Lennon seemed to have taken over this guitar as photographs show him with it, some taken at his home. Harrison evidently retrieved it, however, as more recently it is included in the The Guitar Collection: George Harrison iPad App.
The José Ramírez Instrumentos Para Rondalla "GH" in our collection is an official reissue guitar made in 2010. It is somewhat of an exception to the "Rondalla" rule, in that it has the blue label but is made specially by Ramírez to honor George Harrisonduo_jet.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0

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George Harrison sits down with the one-off José Ramírez Instrumentos Para Rondalla.
Harrison strikes the classical guitarists standing pose with his Ramírez Rondalla.

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