Fender Honors George Harrison Again with the Rocky Stratocaster
This hand-painted regular production model is a psychedelic slice of rock ‘n’ roll history.
Earlier this year, Fender released the limited edition George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster – a tribute to the guitarist’s famous axe that he played during the Beatles’ 1969 rooftop concert.
This time around, Fender has revisited a similarly iconic electric guitar with the release of the George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster (opens in new tab).
It’s not the first time the company has paid homage to Harrison and his psychedelic Strat; the Fender Custom Shop has built detailed replicas (opens in new tab) of this guitar before.
However, with $1,999.99 on the pricetag, the hand-painted George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster is significantly more affordable than previous incarnations.
According to rock ‘n’ roll lore, Harrison had long lusted after a Fender Stratocaster before he was finally able to buy one in 1965.
Both he and John Lennon simultaneously acquired matching blue custom color Strats.
Harrison used his 1961 model to record a number of Beatles albums throughout the latter part of the ‘60s, including Rubber Soul (opens in new tab), Revolver (opens in new tab), the White Album (opens in new tab) and Abbey Road (opens in new tab).
In 1967, psychedelia was peaking – as was Harrison, possibly, when he decided to refinish his Sonic Blue Strat using DayGlo paint.
Check out this interview clip where the guitarist explains all…
Featuring an alder body, the new Fender George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster appears with a replica finish of the Beatle’s distinctive paintjob.
Recreated in fine detail, the guitar even features a facsimile of the original Grimwoods music store decal on the headstock rear.
Fender has taken great lengths to ensure the George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster retains its early ‘60s vibe and have fitted it out with a plethora of golden era-style parts.
Such appointments include vintage-style tuners; a 6-saddle Synchronized Tremolo with bent steel saddles; a 3-ply mint green pickguard; and aged white control knobs.
Slab rosewood fingerboards were standard on Stratocasters between 1959 and 1962, and this 21-fret slab ‘board comes with the vintage-style 7.25” radius.
A trio of ‘60s-style Stratocaster pickups delivers the classic cut and chime that made this timeless model so appealing to Harrison, as well as countless other guitar players over the decades.
Visit Fender (opens in new tab) for more information.
Get The Pick Newsletter
All the latest guitar news, interviews, lessons, reviews, deals and more, direct to your inbox!
Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab), Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.