31st July, 2016

Memorabilia: The Mellotron MK11

This is a Mellotron MK11. A Mellotron is an early synthesizer or sampler made up of a series of magnetic tapes to recreate different sounds. The keyboard is connected to a series of prerecorded tape loops giving sounds like flute, brass and choirs.

The instrument was made famous by The Beatles and is closely associated with progressive and psychedelic music of the sixties and seventies.

This particular instrument is on loan from Chip Hawkes of The Tremeloes, and was previously owned by Jeff Lynne.


The Beatles used the Mellotron as part of their experiments in the studio. The early demonstrations of 'Strawberry Fields Forever' featured just John and his acoustic guitar.  But John in 1966-67 was looking for a different sound.

Using a Mark 11 Mellotron like this one the most famous Mellotron sound of all time was created.  This was using a hired instrument at Abbey Road Studios.

Abbey Road eventually purchased its own Mellotron in 1968, which is now owned by Sir Paul Mc Cartney.  There is much speculation as to the actual hired Mellotron used on 'Strawberry Fields Forever', including this one.


Other Beatles tracks using a Mellotron include: ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, ‘Flying’ and ‘The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill’.

See the 'Mellotron MK11' and many other great items of memorabilia only at The Beatles Story, Liverpool.

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