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The guitar John Lennon played when recording The Beatles' Paperback Writer is going up for bid.  The hollow body Gretsch guitar has been the possession of the rock legend's cousin, David Birch, since 1967. 

Birch says he was a teenager at the time and trying to start his own band, and was "just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars."  He admits he actually wanted Lennon's blue Fender Stratocaster, but "John suggested and gave me the Gretsch." 

In addition, "Beatles Gear" author Andy Babiuk says he's examined the instrument and can verify its authenticity.  The guitar is valued at $650,000 to $950,000. 

The UK's TracksAuction.com is handling the sale.  The Lennon guitar is part of TracksAuction's "Rock & Roll Memorabilia Auction," which will take place in London on November 23rd.  Online bidding begins on November 14th.