Fender Stratocaster

After dreaming of Buddy Holly's guitar for so long, in '65, George and John finally decided to get two identical Sonic Blue Stratocasters, but George's would soon undergo an iconic transformation.…

«If I'd had my way», Harrison once said, «the Strat would have been my first guitar. I'd seen Buddy Holly's Strat… on the Chirping Crickets album cover, and tried to find one. But in Liverpool in those days, the only thing I could find resembling a Strat was a Futurama. It was very difficult to play, [the strings were] about half an inch off the fingerboard… But, nevertheless, it did look kind of futuristic».

After dreaming so much about Buddy Holly's guitar, in '65 George and John finally decided to get two Stratocasters. Their manager Brian Epstein offered to pay for them on the condition that they were identical. And here comes roadie Mal Evans with these two Fender Stratocasters from 1961-62 with the rare “Sonic Blue” finish (they differ only in the “flamed” neck of George's). You can start hearing some Strat sounds in the album Help! (Lennon plays it in Ticket to Ride), but it's in the solo of Nowhere Man that both stand out in unison, captured by a single microphone placed between the two AC30s to create a “stereophonic” effect. In June '67, in the midst of the psychedelic era, George takes his wife's nail polish and transforms his Strat into what would later be called “Rocky”. You can see it shortly after in the first global broadcast with All You Need Is Love and in the Magical Mystery Tour movie during I Am the Walrus.

The one in the photo is a Fender Artist Series Rocky Stratocaster, a limited edition of 1000 units from 2022. You can see it in our Now and Then video. While here's an American Standard sunburst in the I Am the Walrus video.


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