Total Guitar




The Beatles covered a huge amount of ground in just a few short years, constantly evolving both stylistica­lly and aesthetica­lly. The same can be said for their instrument­s, which at times followed suit going from smart and uniform to personalis­ed and psychedeli­c, and one of the best examples of this is George Harrison’s ‘Rocky’ Strat, which Fender has now meticulous­ly recreated, trippy paintwork included! Now, this isn’t the first time Fender has turned its attention to Harrison’s Strat – the Custom Shop previously delivered an accurate replica, complete with a price tag that will dilate your pupils faster than the substance that inspired Rocky’s finish – but it is the first time that the guitar has been primed for a full-scale production model release.

First though, a little bit about the original. In 1965 during the making of Rubber Soul, George Harrison and John Lennon tasked their guitar tech with acquiring them a Strat each. The result was a pair of Fender Strats in Sonic Blue, and Harrison would go on to use his prized doublecut (a 1961 model) on a number of Beatles albums. In 1967, Harrison got the paint out. “During ’67, everybody started painting everything, and I decided to paint it.” he told the Curves, Contours And Body Horns documentar­y in 1994. “I got some day-glo paint – which was quite a new invention in them days – and just sat up late one night and did it.”

Back to 2022, and Fender’s new Rocky model goes a long way to matching the original in detail. It starts with a period-correct Strat design as its base. That means we’re getting the classic alder body, 60s headstock, maple neck shaped to a 60s ‘C-shape’ profile, and erafitting 21-fret/7.25-inch radius, rosewood fingerboar­d. The tuners are vintage-style, and the bridge features six vintage-style saddles, alongside the tremolo. Electronic­ally, there’s a trio of Vintage-style 60s single-coil Strat pickups, five-way switch, master volume and tone controls for the neck and middle pickups.

Then there’s the finish, which just like George’s is hand-applied to every single guitar. Evidence of the original Sonic Blue colour layer is still intact around the upper side and back of the body, with George’s concentric pink/green/ yellow/orange/pink rings moving into the centre of the body. The scratchpla­te is also heavily decorated, and the guitar is adorned with George’s customisat­ions, including the ‘Bebopalula’ and ‘Go Cat Go’ – references to his rock ’n’ roll idols. The guitar’s nickname is also present on the headstock, and on the back face, Fender has given yet another nod to George’s original by including a sticker for Grimwoods ‘The Music People’ – the shop where Harrison’s guitar was originally purchased.

Launched alongside the Rocky Strat is Fender’s new George Harrison Rocky Capsule Collection line of accessorie­s including a pick tin, straps and a cable, all of which borrow the aesthetics of Harrison’s Rocky designs.

The Fender George Harrison Rocky Stratocast­er comes with a hardshell case and Rocky picks and is priced at £1849. Visit for more informatio­n.

Stuart Williams

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia