Fender Releases George Harrison "Rocky" Stratocaster Model

Love is all you need

The Fender Stratocaster garnered a truly coveted status in England in the early 1960s due to its iconic tones and ultimately, limited availability. A chance encounter with one in the early days of the Beatles offered a young George Harrison the chance to play with Fender tonality from the beginning of his storied career. This chance was missed when the guitarist of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes swiped it instead. Forgoing a Stratocaster start, the explosive success and arrival of the band proper we know as the Beatles may have been a whirlwind for Harrison, but this sudden stardom would not shake his love for the Fender guitar sound.

Only a couple of years later, Harrison and company began working on the Help! sessions when he and John Lennon sent roadie Mal Evans to get one Strat for each of them. Evans returned with two Sonic Blue Stratocasters – Harrison's still displaying a decal from a music store where it once resided, "Grimwoods; The music people; Maidstone and Whitstable". Harrison's new Stratocaster made its first appearance on Help! in the low drones of "Ticket to Ride" and the solo of "You're Going to Lose That Girl." The Strat would follow Harrison along into the Rubber Soul and Revolver era, famously onto the "Nowhere Man" solo.

“Colourful clothes, colourful houses and cars, and it was just logical to have a colourful guitar, so I got some dayglo paint out of a tin and just painted it with a brush.” - George Harrison

June 25, 1967 brought the Beatles to global television with a live telecast of "All You Need Is Love", where the Grimwoods Strat sat in Harrison's hands. The original Sonic Blue finish had been painted over by Harrison personally for a new psychedelic look. This telecast would not be the last appearance of this Strat, "Rocky", on film as it also landed in the "I Am the Walrus" segment of the Beatles' 1967 Magical Mystery Tour film. Seen alongside the band's unforgettable animal getups, Rocky was solidified as a true Beatles artifact. Additions to the paintjob in coming years featured "Bebopalula" on the upper body, "Go Cat Go" on the pickguard, and "Rocky" on the headstock.

Today's Fender George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster brings the legacy of the guitarist and his unmatched musicality with a Stratocaster in hand to fruition. Featuring the all-important personalized Harrison art replicated in a one-of-a-kind gloss finish treatment, Rocky is alive and well. Closer details of the vivid finish include Rocky painted aged white pickup covers and control knobs. An alder body and a '60's "C"-shaped maple neck form a classic Strat feel in the arms. A slab rosewood fingerboard with twenty-one vintage-style frets opens up the playing experience for effortless riffage. Three Fender Vintage-Style '60s single-coil Strat pickups produce all the tonal dynamics, clarity, and charm of Fender's golden age. Rocky is topped off with a bone nut, Fender Vintage-Style tuning machines and a synchronized tremolo bridge. It ships with a brown hardshell case with an orange interior. This Fender George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster is limited to 1000 pieces worldwide.

Harrison's influence is still felt today on modern music. Take Rocky for a stroll and hear the first-hand accounts come alive of the taxman, the walrus, and the one and only lonely hearts club band.

Shop the George Harrison "Rocky" Stratocaster