In 1967 George Harrison used Day-Glo paints and nail polish to transform his 1961 Sonic Blue Stratocaster into a psychedelic work of art known as “Rocky.” Featuring Vintera ’60s Stratocaster pickups, a slab rosewood fingerboard and a vibrant hand-painted finish, the George Harrison “Rocky” Strat is a fitting tribute to that one-of-a-kind guitar.
From “Go Cat Go” to the bright Day-Glo hues, every last detail of George’s psychedelic brushstrokes is captured.
With vintage-inspired feel and tone, this maple neck offers snap and excellent playability when paired with a warm 7.25”-radius rosewood fingerboard.
A trio of single-coil pickups sing with the dynamic, crystalline tone that hearkens back to Fender’s golden age.
In the late 1950s and early ’60s, Stratocaster guitars were almost impossible to find in England, so the fact that George Harrison actually added one to his arsenal when the Beatles were single-handedly changing the face of music was special.
As the story goes, Harrison sent roadie Mal Evans to purchase a pair of Strats in 1965, and Evans came back with two Sonic Blue models. It was George’s first Stratocaster — and it quickly became a useful tool.
In the ensuing years, the Strat saw more prominent use on the game-changing 1965 album Rubber Soul — check out the ringing solo on “Nowhere Man” — and subsequent smashes Revolver, The White Album, Get Back, and Abbey Road.
Sometime between the 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band sessions and the June 25 live global telecast of “All You Need is Love,” Harrison’s beloved Stratocaster morphed into what the world now knows as “Rocky.”
In a fit of inspiration, he grabbed a brush and some Day-Glo paint to give the instrument a multicolored psychedelic makeover. Instead of the iconic Sonic Blue finish, its top and headstock were now adorned with bright red, green, yellow and orange accents, making it truly stand out on stage.
Harrison even painted “Bebopalula” on the upper body, “Go Cat Go” on the pickguard and Rocky on the headstock in December of 1969.
Towards the end of the decade, he began using Rocky to play slide guitar, creating a signature sound that spanned his storied solo career. The slide technique that he developed on Rocky was most notably used across his landmark 1987 album, Cloud Nine.
To honor this legendary guitar, Fender is releasing the George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster, featuring an alder body hand-painted with exact replicas of Harrison’s brushstrokes.
Capturing every artistic detail, this model is loaded with a trio of vintage-style ’60s Stratocaster pickups that sing with the dynamic, crystalline tone that recalls Fender’s golden age and a Mid-’60s “C”-shaped maple neck for a classic feel.
Meticulously crafted, the George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster is a fitting tribute to the magic it created in the hands of one of rock’s greatest artists.
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