The Beatles Guitar Heroes 16 – George Harrison

Share My Guitar is pleased to announce a new series of guest posts by John F. Crowley about guitars owned by members of the Beatles. Each week we will unleash another article covering the history and impact of these fab guitars.

George Harrison and the 1963 Gretsch 6122 Country Gentleman

When his first Gent went back to Sound City for repairs, they gave Harrison this one, identical to his first except for the mutes, which were flip-up rather than dial-up, and Harrison came to prefer it.

Seen on the Sullivan shows and used on the ’64 and ’65 U.S. tours, this was the guitar for the Beatles’ first flush of worldwide success. What happened to this guitar? Brian O’Hara of The Fourmost, interviewed by Andy Babiuk, said Harrison gave him the Country Gent during a studio visit at Abbey Road and that he (O’Hara) remembers trading it for something or other. But in a recent interview in Modern Drummer, Mark Hudson tells of Ringo taking him to his house and showing him, among others, the Country Gent, which they promptly brought to the studio and used on the song “Satisfied.” I followed up in 2006 with my own interview with Hudson, who confirmed the story.

JFC: OK. When did you see the first Beatle guitar? When did Ringo actually pull it out?
MH: He took me in his house in England, I was there before the band got there, and he took me into his house where his has all his original stuff, his Sgt. Pepper outfit, Magical Mystery Tour, all that great stuff that he still retains. And he goes (imitating Ringo) “Well, I’ll show you these,” and I see these three guitar cases. You know, and full well knowing – being a John Lennon freak – I knew what that was.
JFC: It was a Rickenbacker case?
MH: Yes, a Rickenbacker case. As soon as I saw that, I knew. And then I saw something shaped like a Country Gentleman Gretsch, and I knew what that was, and something else I didn’t recognize. So the first thing he opens is John’s Rickenbacker.
JFC: The Fire-Glo?
MH: Yes. And my heart fell to my ass. And I went “Oh, my God,” you know, and I said “May I?” And he went “Yeah, go ahead and play it.” And like, there I was – strumming that guitar. And then he opened up the other one, and it was George’s Country Gentleman. And it was immaculate. Olivia gave that to Ringo. And it was the guitar.

Read the full interview here!

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  • Happy birthday today to the youngest Beatle – George Harrison: 25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001.

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