John Lennon Played Guitar with Che Guevara?


A photograph shows John Lennon and Che Guevara playing guitar together.





A photograph purportedly showing John Lennon playing guitar with Che Guevara has been circulating online for several years:

The original photograph appears to have been taken circa 1971, and it shows the Beatles singer playing guitar with Wayne “Tex” Gabriel, guitarist for the band Elephant’s Memories, which served as the primary backing band for Lennon and Yoko Ono between 1971 and 1973. Although we haven’t pinpointed the exact origins of this photograph, it was most likely first published in James A. Mitchell’s book “The Walrus and the Elephants: John Lennon’s Years of Revolution,” which detailed Lennon’s post-Beatles years and started with a dedication to Wayne “Tex” Gabriel and Lennon:

To the memory of Wayne “Tex” Gabriel – A gifted musician and a good man. And to the spirit of John Lennon, of whom many have said the same thing.

A video trailer for the book features the image:

It is unlikely that Lennon and Guevara ever met. The Cuban leader passed away in 1967, just a few years after “Beatlemania” struck with the release of the band’s first album in 1963. During the few years that Guevara and Lennon could have met, the revolutionary was busy leading guerrilla troops in the Congo and Bolivia. Furthermore, Lennon’s hair was much shorter than what is shown in the picture in 1967, the year of Guevara’s death, and more closely resembled the “mop top” look of the band’s early days, as opposed to the longer style he wore during the band’s later years. 


Zuchowski, Dave.   “An Unforgettable ‘Elephant’s’ Memory.”
    Greene County Messenger.   10 January 2014.

Mitchell, James.   “The Walrus and the Elephants: John Lennon’s Years of Revolution.”
    Seven Stories Press.   December 2013

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