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George Harrison Talks About His “Rocky” Fender Stratocaster

Thursday, April 13, 2017

George Harrison played a number of guitars during his years in the Beatles, from Gretsch and Rickenbacker models in the early days to his famed 1968 rosewood Fender Telecaster in the band’s final year.

One guitar that doesn’t get talked about much is the 1961 Fender Stratocaster Harrison played starting in 1965. The guitar became one of his favorites. Indeed, in the clip shown at the bottom, probably from the early Nineties, Harrison discusses his love for the Fender Strat and says he continued to use the guitar throughout his career.

As the clip begins, Harrison recalls how, in the Beatles’ early days, he had a chance to buy a Stratocaster. At the time, American-made guitars were hard to find in England. Unfortunately, before he could buy it, the Strat was purchased by the guitarist in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, the group in which future Beatle Ringo Starr played drums.


“By the time I got there, it was gone,” Harrison recalls. “I was so disappointed. It scarred me for the rest of my life.”

At the time, he says, “I didn’t like the guitar sound I had. And it was a Vox amp and a Gretsch guitar. [But] it was early days and we were lucky to have anything.”
Eventually, both Harrison and John Lennon became owners of matching 1961 Fender Stratocasters with Sonic Blue finishes. The guitar were purchased for them in 1965 while the Beatles were recording their album Help! In the clip, Harrison says the guitars were bought during the making of Rubber Soul, but both guitars made their earliest appearances on “Ticket to Ride,” from 1965’s Help! Harrison used his Strat extensively on Rubber Soul, also from 1965, including on the track “Nowhere Man.” He continued to use the guitar for the remainder of the group’s albums.

By: Christopher Scapeletti

Source: Guitar World

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