Buying and Installing The Bigsby
Chris Huston, lead guitarist for the Undertakers and long time friend of John Lennon recalled John's enthusiasm for American
music and his Rickenbacker. Unable to find such an instrument in Liverpool, Huston remembers Lennon's admiration for his guitar
to this day. In short, John said, "It's f---in' great." Unhappy with the Kaufman vibrato, John had his sights on a Bigsby vibrato. Huston
had researched the Bigsby the previous year and had receiving information from Paul Bigsby in May 1960 as seen above. So it was then, in 1961 that John Lennon approached Chris while the
Undertakers were performing on stage at the Cavern. "Chris! Me Bigsby's in. I've got my guitar. Let's go to Hessy's." The two went to Hessy's Music
where they met Jim Getty and Huston asked for a screwdriver. Getty was more than a little bit surprised that Huston and Lennon were prepared to
put on the Bigsby, right on the spot. Huston recalled the instructions that he gave to John. "John, put it here on the counter. You hold it and I'll
screw it on." They lined up the Bigsby and screwed it in place and added Sonomatic strings, "My favourites" recalled Huston. It is not known whether Lennon
continued to use "Sonomatics" but there is no doubt that they were put on the instrument that day.
Perhaps one of the more elusive aspects of this famous guitar's history, however, is the reason for its refinishing. So why was this guitar refinished, by whom and when? This article attempts to answer these questions based on the available documentation to date.