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George Harrison’s 1958 “Ransom” Les Paul expected to fetch hundreds of thousands at auction

Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

A 1958 Gibson Les Paul guitar that George Harrison purchased specifically to help secure the return of his prized 1957 Les Paul guitar, known as "Lucy," after it had been stolen, is going up for bid as part of an auction scheduled for September 24.

Harrison was gifted "Lucy" by his friend Eric Clapton in 1967 and used it frequently during the last years of The Beatles. The guitar was stolen from George's Beverly Hills home in 1973 and eventually purchased by a Los Angeles guitar shop, which in turn sold it to a Mexican musician named Michael Ochoa.

After Ochoa returned home with "Lucy," Harrison tracked down the instrument. After some negotiating, George agreed to trade a sought-after 1958 Les Paul with a sunburst finish and a Fender Precision bass for his beloved guitar. Harrison purchased the '58 Les Paul, now nicknamed the "Ransom" guitar, from Norman Harris, of L.A.'s Norman's Rare Guitars shop.

Ochoa later sold the '58 Les Paul to Robert Truman, co-owner of Nadine's Music guitar shop in Hollywood. Truman has now included the "Ransom" guitar in a collection of instruments being auctioned on September 24 by Heritage Auctions.

Bidding for the '58 Les Paul is starting at $250,000.

"Vintage guitar collectors and Beatles collectors alike will have to fight over this guitar," says Heritage executive Aaron Piscopo. "It's beautiful, with action like butter: a real-deal '58 'Burst with one of the more incredible stories in rock history."

For more details about the auction, visit HA.com.

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