The Fender Custom Shop has recreated the George Harrison ‘Rocky’ Stratocaster with incredible detail, and are releasing it in a limited run.
Back in 1967, George Harrison took some fluorescent Day-Glo paint to his 1961 Sonic Blue Stratocaster. After its appearance in The Beatles 1967 Magical Mystery Tour film, it would be recognized as an iconic guitar worldwide.
Following the announcement at NAMM 2020, the Fender Custom Shop is now releasing the George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster in a run limited to 100 units worldwide.
The guitar was complicated to recreate and Paul Waller from Fender Custom Shop describes it as “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do“. Through access to the original guitar, Waller was able to meticulously reproduce every detail, down to the ‘Grimwoods’ decal on the back on the headstock.
George Harrison used the guitar on classic records such as Help!, Rubber Soul, and Revolver, and in 1967 gave the originally sonic blue Strat a makeover with fluorescent nail-polish and Day-Glo paint. By 1969, Harrison had painted ‘Bebopalula’ on the body, ‘Go Cat Go’ on the pickguard, and ‘Rocky’ on the headstock, although he chose to leave the original finish on the back of the guitar.
The pickups in the George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster are hand-wound by now-retired Abigail Ybarra, who was winding pickups for Fender back in the ’60s. The neck is a 1960 Oval C shape and cut out of stunning flame maple wood. By replicating all these details in such a limited run, the guitar ends up at a whopping collector’s price of $25,000 USD.
You can check out the building process of the George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster below.