The Beatles: Guitar Heroes 25 – George Harrison’s 1961 Fender “Rocky” Stratocaster

Share My Guitar is proud to release a special 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’s 1961 Fender “Rocky” Stratocaster from the Magical Mystery Tour TV special!

George Harrison got that Fender. In the studio one day he and Lennon dispatched Mal Evans to “get a couple Strats,” and because Brian Epstein was picking up the bill if they were identical, Evans came back with two ’61s in a rare blue color. Used first on “Nowhere Man” and then for the Rubber Soul sessions, and regularly thereafter.

In ’67, to commemorate the “All You Need Is Love” satellite broadcast, Harrison gave his Strat a psychedelic paint job and nicknamed it “Rocky.”

“The paint started flaking off immediately,” he recalls in the Anthology book. “We were painting everything at that time: our houses, our clothes, our cars, our shop. Everything. In those days day-glo orange and lime paint were very rare, but I discovered where to buy them — very thick, rubbery stuff. I got a few different colors and painted the Strat, not very artistically because the paint was just too thick. I had also found out about cellulose paint, which came in a tube with a ball tip, so I filled in the scratch plate with that and drew on the head of the guitar with [wife] Pattie’s sparkly green nail varnish.”

Later in ’67 it featured prominently in the “I Am The Walrus” scene in the “Magical Mystery Tour” TV special. In his solo years, Harrison had it set up properly for his slide guitar work, and dusted it off for “Free as a Bird.”

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