Fender launches George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster, a replica of the Beatle’s iconic hand-painted Day-Glo Strat

Fender George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster
(Image credit: Fender)

George Harrison’s Rocky Stratocaster needs little introduction. Acquired in 1965, originally a 1961 Fender Stratocaster finished in cool Sonic Blue, it was rare enough for that era in England. 

Harrison pressed the Strat into action on the Beatles’ Rubber Soul, and would later apply applied a Day-Glo psychedelic multi-color design circa ’67, nickname the Strat Rocky, and use it on every Beatles album thereafter. Rocky acquired a fame of its own.

But this new Fender George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster does need a little introduction – and it sure deserves one. 

Launched today, it arrives almost two years after the Dream Factory mega-bucks Rocky Stratocaster replica left the Fender Custom Shop, and offers regular players with serious-amateur/pro budgets the chance to get their hands on this instantly recognizable electric guitar.

Like the original, the Rocky Strat is based on a ’61 Sonic Blue Strat, the evidence of the factory finish found on the back of the guitar, and it too is finished in bright red, green and yellow swirl, with the words ‘bebopalula’ and ‘go cat go’ on the front.

Alder-bodied, it has a bolt-on maple neck that’s carved into a Mid-’60s “C” profile and topped with a slab rosewood fingerboard with a 7.25” radius, housing 21 vintage-style frets.

Fender George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster

(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has outfitted this production line Rocky Strat with a set of custom-finish Vintera ‘60s Stratocaster electric guitar pickups, with the trio of single-coils controlled via a five-position blade pickup selector, two tone controls and master volume.

It has a six-saddle synchronized vibrato unit with bent-steel saddles, and a set of vintage-style tuners. The pickguard and controls have been hand-painted to match the original’s Day-Glo paint and nail polish refin – as has the headstock. 

On the rear of the headstock you’ll find a particularly nice touch, as Fender has applied a replica decal of the Grimwoods music store where Harrison originally purchased the instrument. 

The Fender George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster ships in a brown hard-shell case lined with orange fur, and some custom guitar picks, and is priced $1,999 /£1,849.

Also released today is Fender’s George Harrison Capsule Collection, comprising a matching poly guitar strap, a signature leather strap, a signature guitar cable finished in a psychedelic woven jacket and available in 10’ and 18.6’ lengths, and a custom pick tin.

See Fender for more information.

George Harrison with his 1961 Fender Stratocaster, nicknamed Rocky and refinished in Day-Glo paint-job

(Image credit: Courtesy of George Harrison Estate)

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.