I can't believe Harrison's been gone three years already.

Anyway, how fab would it be to own that guitar, played not only by George, but John Lennon too--my two favorite Beatles! Gah, my head would explode with joy!

December 17, 2004, 5:39 PM EST

NEW YORK -- A classic Gibson guitar played by George Harrison on the Beatles' "Revolver" album and by John Lennon during the recording of the "White Album" sold Friday to an anonymous bidder for $567,500, Christie's auction house announced.

The cherry-red SG Standard guitar belonged to Harrison from 1966 through 1969, and holds a special place in Beatles history. Harrison used the guitar in recording sessions and in several of the band's increasingly rare public appearances, and loaned the guitar to Lennon during sessions for the "White Album," according to Darren Julien, whose Julien Entertainment co-sponsored the auction.

The 40-year-old guitar comes with a star-crossed history. The Beatle presented the instrument to a friend, guitarist Pete Ham of the band Badfinger, as a gift in 1969. Ham committed suicide five years later, and the guitar passed on to his brother John.

John Ham stored the guitar beneath a bed in his London home, where it sat until he was contacted in 2002 by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame representatives putting together a Badfinger retrospective. Ham discovered the guitar in the same spot where he had placed it a quarter-century earlier.

Harrison died of cancer in November 2001.

Among the other items purchased in the auction at Christie's Rockefeller Center location were:

_ $19,120 for a two-page letter sent by a hallucinating Kurt Cobain to Courtney Love. The 1991 letter was faxed to her from the Nirvana front man's Sheffield, England, hotel. Written on lined notebook paper in black ink, it contains a passage from Cobain about his life while touring: "I really do care but I'm not very convincing. He's sad. I'm sad. My throat is a swollen tumor, Blood sausage _ colon. I puke air after coughing."

_ $1,912 for a Britney Spears' report on the children's book "Raymond's Run." The report, which dates back to the 1980s, includes a message from her teacher: "Proofread/Messy."

The Harrison guitar price included a buyer's premium of 12 percent, while the other items carried a premium of 19.5 percent.