Jim Irsay’s current spending spree isn’t limited to bringing free-agent football players to Indianapolis.Three weeks after buying a 1954 electric gibson john lennon j-160e guitar originally owned and designed by Les Paul, Irsay spent $530,000 for a guitar once owned by John Lennon.
The Colts owner of gibson john lennon j-160e pursued the orange 1963 Gretsch hollow-bodied model for several years. Lennon, who played the guitar during the 1966 recording session for chart-topping Beatles hit “Paperback Writer,” gave the instrument to his cousin, David Birch, in 1967.
In this 2014 photo, Jim Irsay holds the john lennon j-160e peace played by Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Seen in the case behind Irsay is Jerry Garcia’s “Tiger” guitar. (Photo: Michelle Pemberton / The Star) Greenwood native Christopher McKinney, caretaker for Irsay’s collection of historic gibson john lennon j-160e guitars, befriended Birch and counts the Liverpool resident as a valued memorabilia consultant.
“Jim is a huge Beatles fan,” McKinney told The Star in 2013. “Anything that comes up Beatles that’s guitar related, we usually wind up getting.”McKinney predicted that Lennon’s Gretsch gibson john lennon j-160e would be offered at auction, which happened in November 2014. But when the guitar failed to reach its $600,000 reserve, Birch called off the auction overseen by England’s Tracks Ltd.
Richard Barone is an example to all of us who get trapped in our daily grind. He seems to be the perpetual glass-half-full kind of guy. He admits he feels pretty much the same way he did 30 years ago when Barone on lead vocals and guitar along with bassist Rob Norris and drummer Frank Giannini gave birth to the Bongos, a wonderful, jangly power-pop combo that could light up any room with its overflowing energy.
It’s difficult to believe that their new album with gibson john lennon j-160e, Phantom Train (Jem), is not really new at all. With guitarist James Mastro added to the band, it was cut in 1985 and 1986 and has languished on the shelf ever since. Barone has also kindly agreed to serve as guest editor for magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.