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Fender’s new George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster is a psychedelic masterpiece

George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster
(Image credit: FMIC)

Following up the release of the George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster earlier this year, Fender has just unveiled the similarly iconic George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster.

While the Fender Custom Shop (opens in new tab) has previously created replica models of the Beatles guitarist’s famous Strat, this Artist Signature version falls into a significantly more affordable price bracket.

When Harrison first acquired his 1961 Fender Stratocaster in ‘65, it was sporting a Sonic Blue custom colour finish.

Both he and John Lennon had matching Sonic Blue Strats at this point, and Harrison used his extensively on numerous Beatles recordings of the ‘60s.

Come ‘67, and with the Summer of Love in full swing, the guitar was given a distinctive psychedelic paintjob.

“During ’67, everybody started painting everything, and I decided to paint it,” Harrison once told an interviewer (opens in new tab).

“I got some Day-Glo paint, which was quite a new invention in them days, and just sat up late one night and did it.”

The new Fender George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster features an alder body with a hand-painted replica finish that mimics the Beatle’s famous guitar in fine detail, from concentric Day-Glo patterns and pickguard motifs to the Grimwoods music shop decal on the headstock rear.

In keeping with the original instrument’s ‘60s heritage, the George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster has been fitted with vintage-style tuners and a 6-saddle Synchronized Tremolo with bent steel saddles.

 

George Harrison with Rocky Fender Strat

(Image credit: George Harrison Estate)

A 3-ply mint green pickguard (fitted on Strats from 1959 to 1965) along with aged white control knobs and an aged white pickup selector switch tip add to the ‘60s vibe.

Period-correct for Strats made between 1959 and 1962, this guitar sports a 21-fret, 7.25” radius slab rosewood fingerboard atop a solid maple neck (Fender describes the profile as a '60s "C" shape).

Three ‘60s-style Stratocaster pickups provide the kind of clear, chiming tones that made this classic Fender solidbody such a success following its release in 1954.

Visit Fender (opens in new tab) for more information.

Rod Brakes
Rod Brakes

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.