Watch the Fender Custom Shop recreate George’s Rocky Strat

29 September 2020

In Episode 4 of the Fender Custom Shop’s Dream Factory series, Master Builder Paul Waller recounts the story of George Harrison’s iconic Rocky Strat – a 1961 Sonic Blue Strat hand-painted by Harrison with 17 fluorescent colors – and dissects what makes it an unforgettable model.

Watch the full episode here

Stratocasters were almost impossible to come by in England in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, so when George actually found one in a shop during the pre-fame days of The Beatles, he meant to get it but was scooped by the guitarist for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes (whose drummer went by the stage name Ringo Starr). In 1965, George and John Lennon finally got their hands on a set of ‘61 Strats in Sonic Blue. George’s quickly became one of his favorites, first appearing on “Ticket to Ride” and all over the rest of The Beatles’ catalogue. In 1967, as psychedelic culture came into fashion, George stayed up late one night, painted his Strat in fluorescent colors and named it Rocky. Sometime in 1969, he added to the work, writing “BEBOPALULA” on the body and borrowing his then-wife Patti Boyd’s nail polish to paint a portrait of his pal Eric Clapton on the headstock.

Click here to learn George Harrison songs on Fender Play:

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