George Harrison’s first sitar has sold for $62,500.
The remarkable piece of music history starred in a memorabilia auction at Nate D Sanders on September 28.
It can be heard on the song Norwegian Wood, from the Beatles’ 1965 album Rubber Soul.
George Harrison bought the sitar on Oxford Street in 1965
Harrison later recalled in the Beatles Anthology: ''I went and bought a sitar from a little shop at the top of Oxford Street called Indiacraft - it stocked little carvings, and incense.
“It was a real crummy-quality one, actually, but I bought it and mucked about with it a bit.
"Anyway, we were at the point where we'd recorded the Norwegian Wood backing track and it needed something.
“We would usually start looking through the cupboard to see if we could come up with something, a new sound, and I picked the sitar up - it was just lying around; I hadn't really figured out what to do with it. It was quite spontaneous: I found the notes that played the lick.
“It fitted and it worked.''
Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar said of Harrison's playing on the track: “Just imagine some Indian villager trying to play the violin when you know what it should sound like.”
He would take Harrison under his wing, teaching him the proper way play the instrument.
Harrison became deeply enamoured of Indian culture. In the late 1960s he converted to Hare Krishna.
Upon his death, his ashes were scattered in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers – two of Hinduism’s most sacred sites.
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