Budget-savvy music collectors who don’t want functional instruments cluttering up their display shelves are in for a treat: A few pieces from one of John Lennon’s Rickenbacker guitars will be going up for auction in London later this month. The pieces in question—a pickguard and machine heads from Lennon’s 1958 Rickenbacker 325 Capri—contain all of the musical significance and none of the pesky functionality of a Lennon-owned guitar, at a fraction of the price.
The guitar pieces are being auctioned by music collectibles shop Tracks, which acquired them from Ron DeMarino, an instrument repairer who refurbished the guitar for Lennon in 1972. At that point, Lennon had owned the instrument for twelve years, playing it on The Beatles’ first two albums and bringing it along for the band’s first American tour in 1964. DeMarino held on to the discarded pieces (with Lennon’s permission) for more than 40 years before putting them up for auction.
The pickguard and tuning heads, along with a certificate of authenticity, are expected to go for as much as $60,000 at auction. That’s considerably less than Tracks expects to get for a complete guitar—Lennon’s 1963 Gretsch 6120—being sold at the same auction. It’s an absolute bargain for anyone seeking to build a Frankenstein’s monster from the pieces of rock legends’ old instruments, or who just desperately want to own something that was once in the same room as Ed Sullivan. Plus, it’s the ultimate reminder of the old Beatles song that tells us that, while money can’t buy you love, it can buy you a few pieces of a dead man’s trash.