See how Fender made this astonishing George Harrison 'Rocky' Strat recreation

Fender has announced the immediate release of its George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster Custom Shop, a super-accurate rebuild of the iconic electric guitar best known for its live appearance on the seminal All You Need Is Love performance on Our World, the very first global satellite TV program. 

The work of Master Builder Paul Waller, and first glimpsed at NAMM 2020, the George Harrison Rocky Strat issue is strictly limited to 100 guitars, and goes on sale today at £23,099/€26,549. 

(Image credit: Fender)

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The finished instrument is the result of painstaking collaboration between Waller and the George Harrison estate, meticulous micro-measurement and backwards engineering. The body, neck (with a rare asymmetrical “C” profile), pickups and wiring have all been forensically emulated.

Harrison first acquired the original Sonic Blue Strat in early 1963, during the Beatles' Help sessions, roadie Mal Evans having been despatched to grab one each for Harrison and John Lennon.

Harrison’s guitar, serial number 83840, sported a decal from  from “Grimwoods; The music people; Maidstone and Whitstable”, and Help! was the first time a Strat had featured in the legendary band's recordings.

Fender George Harrison Rocky

(Image credit: Future)

Sometime in 1967, Harrison painted the guitar himself, and the newly psychedelic axe's first high-profile outing was in the I Am The Walrus segment in that year's Magical Mystery Tour movie.

By December 1969 Harrison had also painted “Bebopalula” on the upper body, “Go Cat Go” on the pickguard and “Rocky” on the headstock. All of his daubings, and that original Grimwoods decal, are reproduced here. 

Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.