John Lennon a thief? Well karma got to John later when his prized Gibson J-160-E was stolen from him.
Dallas Tuxedo: tobacco-sunburst solid body (vintage unknown). It was Monday, 24 November 1958, and Johnny and the Moondogs were heading home from Manchester, where they had competed in a Carroll Levis talent show. The event wasn’t over, but the boys had to make a dash to catch the last train to Liverpool. There may have been another reason for their swift departure: John Lennon, who had arrived without a guitar, suddenly had one. Did he steal it from one of the other acts? Both McCartney and Harrison have said he stole someone’s guitar that night. Paul confirmed this in the Beatles Anthology.
If this guitar — one of the first electric models made in Britain — is the “Manchester Mystery Guitar,” Lennon apparently hid it in the loft at Mendips, his Liverpool home, for he was never photographed with it. Except for one visitor who got a brief glimpse of it in the kitchen, and another local who remembers Lennon looking for a case for it, the Tuxedo remained unseen until 1996, when workmen found the guitar, along with two banjo magazines, in the loft. Shortly after, Ernie Burkey, the man who’d bought Mendips, allowed two friends of his nephew Alan Stratton to visit the famous Beatles homestead. Burkey showed the two — Johnny “Guitar” Byrne and American Beatles expert Larry Wassgren — the items that workmen had found and, knowing the visitors were Beatles fans, gave them to the astonished pair, who reckoned that the Tuxedo was most likely the long-rumored purloined Manchester guitar. Wassgren graciously turned the Tuxedo over to Stratton, and it is to be auctioned by Bonhams in July 2012.
While there’s no photographic proof of this guitar being the one referred to in Beatles lore, it must be considered a strong candidate. Doubters include Beatles archivist Mark Lewisohn, who told this writer that one of the band’s friends went along with them to the competition and saw Lennon take a guitar but described it as “a complete piece of rubbish.” So, for the time being, the Manchester Mystery Guitar remains just that.
It is a strange set of events but Johnny Guitar Byrne was such a close mate of the Beatles in the early days he would know a genuine Lennon guitar.
On this one pothos, only if John spoke about it. Since it was stolen he probably wanted to hide it and put it up in loft when Aunt Mimi went shopping. I don't think he told anyone for fear of being caught if they blabbed. This was 1958 and he still had his Gallotone, but that was an acoustic and boring, that's probably why he didn't take his guitar to the show, he was dying to get an electric! Until Mimi got him his Hofner 40 in Aug. 59 he was desperate.
*btw Johnny Byrne got his electric Guyatone a couple of months before Lennon got his first electric, the Club 40!