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George Harrison: Iconic Guitars, Iconic Guitarist

June 7, 2013

by PGS Fitz

An informal poll conducted on my personal Facebook page recently has concluded, definitively if not scientifically, that George Harrison is not only the Best Beatle but also the Greatest Guitarist and possibly even The Most Amazing Human Being of All Time*.  Growing up, all I ever heard about was McCartney or Lennon—but as a grown up? All I ever hear about is Harrison and it’s completely justified. My favorite guitar heroes are the ones who stay as under-the-radar as possible just like George-- quietly devoting himself to music and to his guitars and writing some of what are arguably the finest songs the Beatles ever performed or recorded.  

George never stopped evolving and he was unafraid of change—something that shows even in his choice of instruments over the course of his career.  This week in Andy’s Corner, I’m taking inspiration from George by taking a look at some of his most iconic instruments—legendary guitars that are intrinsic pieces of the Beatles history and remain a ton of fun to learn about.

An 18-year-old Harrison bought himself his “first real decent guitar” in 1961—a secondhand ’57 Gretsch Duo Jet. Even though the Duo Jet was George’s primary guitar for only a couple of years, it has remained one of if not the most iconic of Harrison’s guitars because it was the guitar that accompanied the Beatles’ initial rise to stardom. In the mid 60s, George gave this guitar to a friend, who possessed it for the next 20 years, making a few mods to the guitar along the way. In the 80s, Harrison asked for the guitar to be returned to him for its sentimental value. The mods to the Gretsch were reversed and the guitar made an appearance, in its natural state, on George’s acclaimed ’87 solo work, Cloud Nine, because sometimes things just come full circle. This guitar is so iconic that it was the guitar used as the model for the Beatle’s Rock Band video game controller. (There’s no shame in having that guitar in your collection, by the way.)  

 As the Beatles star continued to rise, George added some new Gretschs to his stable: a Gretsch Tennessean and a Gretsch Country Gentleman—the very guitar he used to play “She Loves You” on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Nearly any image of George playing guitar in the early days of the Beatles features a Gretsch, which nicely complemented Lennon’s Rickenbacker.

Not to be left out, in the mid 60s George picked up some Rickenbackers of his own, notably a 360/12 twelve string electric. George’s use of this instrument may very well have singlehandedly popularized electric 12-strings in pop—just ask the Byrds what inspired Roger McGuinn to pick up a 12-string (and we all know how that panned out). The electric Rick added a new dimension to the Beatles sound and can be heard on almost the entire A Hard Day’s Night album. Though the 12-string made a huge impact on the Beatles’ sound in the mid ‘60s, Harrison was never one to repeat himself; though he had started the electric 12-string revolution, he let others finish what he started (McGuinn and later Petty and Buck, etc) and moved on to find the next sound that would inspire him to grow and change as a player and musician.

George picked up a Fender Stratocaster during the Rubber Soul sessions, a guitar that would become his primary instrument for several years. Originally Sonic Blue, George eventually gave it a psychedelic makeover—using dayglo paint and his wife’s nail polish to turn the guitar into an instrument that was right at home in Magical Mystery Tour.  This guitar, nicknamed “Rocky,” stayed with George through his solo career and, after some friendly tech advice from Ry Cooder, became his go-to instrument for playing slide.

In the late 60s, Fender sent George a rosewood Telecaster prototype for use in the movie Let It Be. This prototype was built by famed master builder Roger Rossmeisl and was built out of a thin layer of maple sandwiched between solid rosewood top and back, creating an extraordinarily heavy instrument. George used this guitar in the Beatles’ final rooftop performance in ’69, making it the guitar that saw: the end of the Beatles. Fender has reproduced the guitar from time to time and it remains a sought after model. Even *I* want one. 

 

 

George’s son Dhani now has possession of the Harrison guitar collection—all the guitars that span the 12 years of the Beatles and George’s subsequent solo career and with the supergroup Traveling Wilburys (itself a group worthy of a “The Guitars of…” blog post!)—and is handling them with care, even going so far as to create an iPad app that gets you up close and personal with 7 of George’s most iconic instruments.

When I think of George as a player, he reminds me to take care to not get stuck in a pattern—swap your Gretsch for a Rickenbacker, your Rickenbacker for a Fender, your Fender for a Gretsch, your Gretsch for an SG, your SG for a Strat that you then repaint yourself to make it into exactly what you want at that moment. Don’t be afraid to change. Never stop evolving. Always explore.

Harrison fans in the house?! What’s your favorite of George’s guitars and what has he taught you as a player and musician? Sound off in the comments!

 

 *scientifically unproven but I still choose to believe it.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. still rockin' says:

    I own a 02’ Gretsch Dou Jet, (not the GH tribute model) and every time I play it I go back to being a 10 year old in 1963. Not the easiest playing of my collection, but the vibe is worth its weight in gold!

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 6:43 am
  2. Tehan Allang says:

    My favourites would have to be the Gretsch or the rosewood Tele. What has George taught me? Well, he helped lay the foundation for me to adopt the whole “simplicity” thing when it comes to single note playing. I’m not too much of a soloist though. I learned most of my rhythm work from Mr. Lennon.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 6:45 am
  3. Josh says:

    Do not forget his work with the Epiphone Casino, which he used during Revolver and Sgt. Pepper. Still, great article.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 6:47 am
  4. SRV says:

    BEST guitarist. LOL….I highly disagree….

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 6:47 am
  5. Seth says:

    No love for Lucy?

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 6:53 am
  6. Rick R says:

    What’s often overlooked about George’s playing is that he reinvented himself as a player post-Beatles with his incredible slide guitar work. His unique sound ranks up there with Duane Allman, Lowell George, Joe Walsh and several others from that time. You can definitely hear his influence in Mike Campbell’s slide work, like on “I Won’t Back Down.” What many may not know is that his style was shaped by his learning to play the sitar. The scales he used were based on the music style he developed learning the Indian scales used in playing the sitar. As far as Harrison’s instruments go, you can’t forget the Les Paul he gave to Clapton, that one used on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” In fact, Gibson just released a limited run of this LP for the hefty sum of $22,000. He was also a wonderful ukulele player, and would often keep the trunk of his car full of ukuleles so he could play with anyone, anywhere.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 6:56 am
  7. Les S. says:

    The Rosewood Tele is my favorite.  Had Logan guitars make a replica and it works great.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:02 am
  8. RM says:

    Certainly the Epiphone Casino, as heard on Rubber Soul and , I suspect, Revolver. I also liked the sounds he got from the cherry Les Paul he got from Clapton.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:03 am
  9. Kastrodamas says:

    Listening to the Beatles my whole life finally taught me to play what is necessary and what fits the particular song.  Anyone can noodle and wail a song to death; but the greats, (Harrison, Campbell, Buck, Smith) can add tastefulness to any song.  I strive to do that every time I take the stage.  As far as a favorite Harrison guitar, they’re all my favorite.  George sounded like George no matter what he picked up and plugged in.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:05 am
  10. DC says:

    Not sure how the Casino could be left out.  Just saying…

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:06 am
  11. Seth says:

    Pretty sure the red ‘57 Les Paul (Lucy) was a gift to Harrison from Clapton.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:07 am
  12. Corey Cather says:

    I grew up with the Beatles…their music shaped our lives.  I always loved George’s playing, songwriting and quiet cool.  However, I don’t think the Gretsch guitars were great choices.  They sounded so thin!  There were so many better choices out there.  I own a dozen vintage Gibson’s, Fender’s and others…including a new Gretsch acoustic, which I like. All of the vintage electric guitars sound so much better than any Gretsch I ever played.  Their single coil pickups just don’t have a good sound….way too thin sounding.  Listen to George’s early solos with the Beatles…not much meat there!  Anyway…just my thoughts…but I guess whatever George played would have been excellent!

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:08 am
  13. Larry K says:

    Epi Casino has to be the best, next to his strat collection.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:09 am
  14. celticgods says:

    Clapton gave George “Lucy” because it didn’t compare to his first one which was stolen early on in Cream.  George had “Lucy” in his car the day he gave Clapton a lift into London and asked him to come to the studio. George knew Eric would beg off out of shyness with “I don’t even have a guitar!” so Lucy was handy.

    George had a couple of other Stratocasters like the white one from Bangladesh concert at MSG.
    I liked his strats, that Tele and the Epiphone in addition to all his Gretschs…Pick one?  Can’t!

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:13 am
  15. Marcos Craveiro says:

    My favorite George’s guitar is a “Harrison-Clapton 1957 Les Paul Standard “Lucy”. Appear in “Revolution” video and was also used to record the solo of While my Guitar Gently Weeps, played by Clapton. It´s a beautiful Les Paul.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:16 am
  16. Jeff says:

    I think he also played a Washburn Festival series acoustic… my favorite.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:20 am
  17. peter casey says:

    I’ve got to put George Harrison in the top 3 guitarists of all time because, he didn’t just play lead notes, (which we all can do) He played lead chord structures and created melodic leads for the Beatles full catalog.  He’s just not some fast blues guy who plays most of the same notes all the time. How many guitarists do you hear that can and do play like George?  Not many, while there are thousands of blues inspired guys from Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughn, even Eddie Van Halen, who simply added speed, pedals, and created the “tapping” which he is famous for.  YES, George Harrison was one of the greatest guitar players in the world, ever, and there aren’t many like him.  To create what he did out of nowhere was pure genius. Period.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:37 am
  18. scott says:

    Love the Ric sound! That first chord on Hard Day’s Night.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:38 am
  19. Andrew says:

    Great article, but a few important guitars where overlooked.  The Framus Hootenanny 12 string (to be far seemed like this one was played by Paul too), used on the Help! sessions, The Gibson SG from Revolver, and as mentioned above the Epiphone Casio and the ‘57 Gibson Les Paul gifted by Clapton.  My personal fav is the Gretsch Country Gent.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:42 am
  20. victor zamora says:

    i own an epiphone casino,and i love it,and i’m trying to get me the grestch country gent

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:48 am
  21. Pat Glenn says:

    I was so thrilled that when the Beatles came to the US, George played a Gretsch Tennessean just like mine. George moved on to the Country Gentleman, etc, but Gerry Mardsen & others kept on playing their Tennessseans.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:48 am
  22. dave says:

    Don’t forget the Gibson J160 acoustic/electric both he and John played

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:54 am
  23. John says:

    George has always been my favorite Beatle. His songs are a nice change of pace on the albums.  How do you pick one of his guitars?  My fav’s are his Casino w/ Bigsby, Tennessean, and Les Paul.  I’ve spent a small fortune turning a cherry red Les Paul into Lucy.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:56 am
  24. Sitar_Man says:

    I have loved George and his work through out his amazing career so much so that I had to learn Sitar!  The thing about George was that he never went outside the song for a solo or riff that did not fit the song.  It is obvious that he went out of his way looking for tasteful work that complimented the melodic structure of the tune as opposed to playing way too many unneeded notes!  Not too be little anyone else, but he also had the most tasty smooth glassy tones of anyone!

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 8:02 am
  25. Keef says:

    Not sure if anyone else was aware - Mr Harrison also owned a Maton MS500 guitar .... made in Melbourne Australia.  A fine instrument!

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 8:03 am
  26. Sam Haun says:

    You forgot about the red Les Paul which was stolen in the late 60’s but returned several decades later.  See the Revolution video for a good look at it.  It was used quite a bit during the White Album sessions.  Other than that… my fav was the Rickenbacker.  Beautiful sound.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 8:05 am
  27. Alex says:

    I’ve just put a professional 10 piece band together in the UK - we only play George’s songs. We will play our first show “All Things Must Pass” in Brighton soon. I use two Fender Telecasters - one of which I have set up with heavier strings and slightly higher action for slide playing. George was/is one of the real slide masters.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 8:13 am
  28. JC says:

    What about the amps he plugged into? Surely they impacted his tone. I’ve owned two Gretch guitars and found them lacking (felt cheap). The one Rick I had had too thin of a neck. Epiphones? Forgetaboutit. I own a Fender Select Tele and Select Strat and love them. I can get great “Harrison” sounds from my Tele especially. I was raised on a 1978 Gibson ES335TD that I received new when I was 13 years old because I thought it was what Harrison played. I love that guitar! Years later I found out he was really playing a Gretsch. I can’t say I was bummed. I’m happy I thought it was that Gibson! I still have it and play it all of the time. Oh, I also dig my Les Paul Gold Top. It’s great for mimicking some great Harrison rock!

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 8:24 am
  29. Corey Cather says:

    For Scott and anyone else interested…the first chord of “Hard Days Night” is as follows (so says George Martin):

    George on 12 string…..F chord w/G on top and bottom, with a C next to bottom G
    Paul….D on bass
    John…D (sus4) which is D with an added G note

    Play them all together ...1, 2, 3 .... magic!!!!

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 8:27 am
  30. Nicolas says:

    George was probably the nicest of the lot in the Beatles. His playing was not revolutionary, but he had style and good taste. His sensitive and discreet playing probably reflects his personality.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 8:35 am
  31. Bob says:

    You completely skipped the Epiphone Casino. That was a major step on George’s guitar journey. All three Beatles got Epiphone Casinos in the mid-60’s after Paul McCartney started the ball rolling. Lennon and Harrison used a twin pair of sunburst Casinos as their main guitars on the Beatle’s final (1966) tour and the guitar is considered to be a key to the sounds of Revolver as well as Sgt. Pepper. Harrison is seen playing a Casino in many more shots than ever with a strat until he left the Beatles.

    Lennon later stripped the finish on his Casino and refinished it in natural, which he used on Let It Be and throughout his solo Career. McCartney still uses his original Epiphone Casino on stage. So don’t dis Epiphone.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 8:45 am
  32. CC says:

    “Remember…3 chords and the Truth.”

    George

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 8:56 am
  33. Alexa says:

    The first time I saw the Beatles was their 1964 debut on the Ed Sullivan Show…the day before my birthday.  It was the best present of all to me as a young child.  Because of that, to me George Harrison is synonymous with the Gretsch Country Gentleman.  The way he held it, high on his chest, dancing as he played, was beautiful.  They all inspired me to play guitar and bass.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 9:13 am
  34. R M says:

    Mr. Harrison had a Gibson 335 he played occasionally on the early tours.
    He can be seen playing the Guitar in the Day Tripper video on the Anthology DVD.
    A lot of people miss that he had that 335.
    You don’t hear much about that one.
    Ted McCarty said that of all his inventions the 335 was the Guitar he felt was his finest accomplishment.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 9:20 am
  35. Michelle Rose says:

    George had the classiest licks. “I Want To Tell You” is so incredibly cool, especially in the verse, when he does those odd little two-note interior chords that sound so fine and tasty. He had no ego whatsoever. Look at the line-up of rock royalty on “All Things Must Pass”! His slide playing was so smooth and contained. His sound, live and in the studio, was always impeccably clean and precise. Every note could be heard, which is why a lot of folks, myself included, love to copy his licks.

    A brilliant player, a gentle man, and a seeker of the Truth. We miss you a lot, George.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 9:45 am
  36. Ted Mendsen says:

    I was always a fan of the Gretsch’s George played, with the chimey Vox sounds! While I was not a great admirer of all his solos, I must say, George’s slide playing was revolutionary. George did not play the typical pentatonic blues slide primarily. George played melodic slide like no one before him!
    Listen to the intro to “Give Me Love, Give Me Peace on Earth”. It is a double slide track, orchestrated together very intricately and this is just the intro! His intonation was also always spot on. Then listen to his guitar work on Cloud 9 with Jeff Lynn, truly inspired. And yes, his inspiration on Tom Petty and his band is undeniable.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 10:04 am
  37. 57Stratman says:

    Although I have always been and will always be first and foremost a Strat lover and player, I totally agree with your religion of change, or not pigeon holing your craft by doggedly refusing to switch up instruments. To that end, I have found myself turning more often to my Tele’s, and most often than not, my ‘69 Tele thinline. So right now, which of Georges iconic axes would I choose? No question, the ‘69 Rosewood Telecaster. How about taking this to the next level though, and telling us about George’s amp collection, effects pedals, and his choices of Acoustic guitars?

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 10:29 am
  38. Jim Crisan says:

    Some of George’s best work was his last.  Have a listen to the instrumental “Marwan Blues” on his last album Brainwashed.  Some of the most beautiful slide guitar I’ve ever heard.  Also, the melodic guitar work in “Stuck Inside a Cloud” brings tears to my eyes.  I miss George terribly.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 10:39 am
  39. Jim Crisan says:

    Also, I just saw George’s son Dhani with his band The Newno2 a couple of weeks ago, and he was carrying on the Gretsch tradition as he played a sparkly silver Silver Jet throughout the set, as well as a Clapton model Strat with the lace sensor pickups.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 10:44 am
  40. mike says:

    There are more pics and videos of George playing Gibson than anything else from what I’ve seen

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 11:14 am
  41. renshen1957 says:

    Which is my favourite acoustic of George? 1964 José Ramírez Guitarra de Estudio classical guitar. My favourite acoustic electric? Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric guitar? My favourite electric guitar?All of them. 

    George Harrison was the last of the “Lead” Guitar Players of the old school of 50’s Rock and Roll, Rockabilly, even some Country Western thrown in.  Nuance, just the right fills, not too many notes nor too little. Great licks.  His later work is fab, too.  The slide solo on Free As a Bird. embodied all his attributes.  George wasn’t a Clapton or Hendrix, but his work was influential and immediately noticed and remembered. Paul and John took solos too. 

    I agree with 57Stratman,  The amps of George Harrison, effects, etc., would all make great articles.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 11:42 am
  42. Eric Fisher says:

    @SRV: George may not have been the best - but he was extremely underrated. He believed that a guitar solo served the song, not the other way around. He had no interest in being flashy. He once said that was a decision he made. He admired flashy solos but in the end he preferred being who he was. Ask Eric Clapton if George was a good guitarist, if you have any doubt.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm
  43. Bradford Paulson says:

    The guitars of Gerge Harrison I really liked the best were the Rickenbacker Twelve Strings he played along with the Gretsch country Gentleman and the Tennesean also the Duo Jet which was the Gretsch’s answer to the Les Paul, the two Fenders, the Telecaster and Strat were cool and so was his Gibson Les Paul Standard he played in the Hey Jude Promo film the Beatles made as well as his Epiphone Casino he played during the Beatles Farewell Tour in 1966. George was the lead guitarist for the Beatles and the way he played was at his finest. I enjoyed him as a guitarist and singer. He was known as the quiet Beatle but later became the more Creative Beatle with more songwriting, producing and discovering other artists as well as directing movies and starting his own record label.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm
  44. Mister Vertigo Musik says:

    I love “Lucy”
    I got a VERY nice Agile AL2000 in wine splat that reminds me of “Lucy” (in looks only though after throwing in some alnico pups it is a really great sounding $200 guitar)...

    The ‘57 Duo Jet is another personal fav as well as the rosewood tele…

    Harrison was such a spiritual person with a balanced Chakra that came through in all of his playing…He had such knowledge of his own energy and it was the reason no one has or will ever sound like him…The solo on “Let it Be” is a perfect example of this vibe and my favorite solo of all time…

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm
  45. Elliot says:

    I am going to have my kids help me paint the Strat psychadelic.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm
  46. John Gretzinger says:

    I had a ‘63 Gretsch Tennessean as my first electric guitar (my Fender Deluxe 8 Steel Guitar not withstanding - complete with lessons from Ernie Ball) to go along with my Gibson Hummingbird of the same vintage.

    I wish I had never sold that instrument.  Hopefully one day I’ll find another ‘63 in good condition and an affordable price (hey! It could happen =;-> ).

    We do have a Rickie 360/12 in the collection as well.  I love that sound - there’s nothing like it.

    George was my favorite Beetle - he was sort of in the background, singing, playing and adding to the group without being flashy.  Pretty much a class act all around.

    jdg

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm
  47. Pat Glenn says:

    @John G - my ‘62 Tennessean was a great guitar, but I’m glad I swapped it off in ‘65. It was too delicate for playing Rock-N-Roll every day. I wore out the master volume pot (since I lived in NY, I could send it back to the factory), the neck warped beyond the ability to straighten it & the intonation went sour. The originals in decent shape & the Japanese reissue run about the same price but I would surely take the reissue.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm
  48. Vladimir says:

    i have bought silvertone 1448 (with amp-in-case) 1962. sounds very deep with 0.12-0.54 strings.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm
  49. smokey in MN says:

    My first “expensive” guitar; Country Gentleman; $600, in 1965. A lot of money, back then. All because of George & the Beatles. Conned my Mother into co-signing a bank loan for this one, I was 16. I had a Gibson 335 on order; there was a labor strike in Kalamazoo… nothing happening.
    Jim Lopez at B-Sharp Music got this nice Gretsch, (at twice the price), in and I bought it as the BEATLES THANG was really happening, at that time. It was a wonderful guitar, spank & chime to spare. The Nauga pillow on the backside I always thought was quite odd. In one of my most stupid moments, I sold it to one of my college room-mates to get some cash to buy a Farfisa Combo Organ. What was I thinking? I now play an Ibanez model that approximates the orange Gretsch 5120… not too bad. I always wanted a Duo-Jet solid body, they are really cool.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm
  50. Enigmatic Recluse says:

    I’d have to say my faves are the Country Gent, the underlooked SG that he used on Paperback Writer, Rain and later on Hey Bulldog for sure. He must have pulled it out from time to time in between, Revolver and the White Album. I like the Telecaster too. I can’t go with the Epi Casino only because while he made fine use of it, it is Lennon’s Casino I see as truly iconic. I also like that funky Czech Futura guitar I often see George pictured with in Liverpool and the ‘burg. I’ve read where it was a bitch’s wretched tit to play, but he must have learned a hell of a lot about playing rock and roll on that beast. If you asked me on a different day I’d go on about the Rick 12 and Rocky. George was a hell of player and as fine a human as ever there was. When we going to learn some more about his amps?

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm
  51. Chas in Michigan says:

    Great posts and obviously George inspired countless guitarists in the past 50 years as he will in years to come. To all those who seek to learn more and regarding George’s playing style and songs I would highly recommend checking out the beat gear cavern website: www.beatgearcavern.com

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm
  52. warren says:

    I love Les Pauls , loved his cherry red one that he gave to clapton . I still feel that george was very under rated as a guitar player .  He is alot better than some people say . He has left behind some wonderful music for us . I still enjoy listening to the beatles .

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm
  53. Gerson Pereira says:

    All the sounds of the Gretsch guitars of George are the most expressive to me.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm
  54. brad says:

    Don’t worry, SRV. There’s no such thing as “best” guitarist, but it’s ok to say that about someone like George Harrison.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 9:22 pm
  55. Jim H says:

    I know as guitarists we seem to only consider electric guitars when we discuss iconic rock guitars, but how you could leave out the Gibson J-160 acoustic just boggles my mind. George and John used those things constantly back in the Beatlemania era, both live and in the studio. And don’t forget George’s gorgeous Harptone acoustic…Here Comes the Sun, My Sweet Lord, anyone??

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm
  56. Keith says:

    the Les Paul was a gift from Clapton.  There was also a Gibson SG he got in 1966 and later gave to Pete Ham of Badfinger.

    posted on June 7, 2013 at 11:07 pm
  57. Blackie James says:

    The Beatles were a complete package and as that package they changed many things in music, fashion and the like.  They were simple players that wrote catchy three minute tunes and became icons.  I grew up with them and I was totally immersed in what they were doing. They introduced us to many new things, new styles, new guitars and amps we’d never seen before. As players they were good, not great and the sum of the parts were great but once you start breaking out the players individually then things get weak.  They held their own as solo players and song writers but no where near what they did together.  As a whole the individual contributions made the Beatles what they were but as individuals they were decent but carried the status of “Icon” which didn’t hurt.  I would not call any of them great guitar players, interesting indeed, but not great.

    posted on June 8, 2013 at 1:48 am
  58. The 27s says:

    George played that Gibson SG extensively on Revolver, Lennon also used it on the White Album. Then George gave it to Pete Ham who treasured it. After Pete’s suicide it was sitting in his brother’s closet until 2002. It was on loan to the R&R Hall of Fame and displayed there for a few year and was recently sold for $567,500 through Christie’s.

    posted on June 8, 2013 at 5:29 am
  59. Chuck says:

    He also had a Rickenbacker 425 guitar

    posted on June 8, 2013 at 7:09 am
  60. tommy pano says:

    Does anyone remember on “abbey road” who is playing what riff during the jam?

    posted on June 8, 2013 at 8:45 am
  61. Eric Fisher says:

    That would be George.

    posted on June 8, 2013 at 8:49 am
  62. tommy pano says:

    Thanks ERIC, But I should of been more precise.I was meaning the jam before ‘the end’, where I believe it was JOHN, PAUL AND GEORGE taking turns. I was wondering who was when and so on?, thanks

    posted on June 8, 2013 at 9:19 am
  63. Michelle Rose says:

    According to wikipedia:

    McCartney, Harrison, and Lennon perform a rotating sequence of three, two-bar guitar solos. The solos begin approximately 53 seconds into the song and end just before the final piano part. Lennon described it in his 1970 interview with Rolling Stone: “There’s a nice little bit I played on Abbey Road. Paul gave us each a piece, a little break where Paul plays, George plays and I play.” The first two bars are played by McCartney, the second two by Harrison, and the third two by Lennon, then the sequence repeats. Each has a distinctive style which McCartney felt reflected their personalities: McCartney’s playing included string bends similar to his lead guitar work on “Another Girl” from the Help! album and the stinging style he had first perfected on “Taxman” from Revolver; Harrison’s solo incorporated the melodic yet technically advanced slides that were becoming his trademark; lastly Lennon’s contribution was rhythmic, snarling, and had the heaviest distortion, echoing his lead work in “Revolution”. Immediately after Lennon’s third solo, the piano chords of the final line “And in the end…” begin. Then the orchestration arrangement takes over with a humming chorus and Harrison playing a final guitar solo that ends the song.

    So there you have it, according to Wiki. Sounds about right to me.

    posted on June 8, 2013 at 10:16 am
  64. Kaz says:

    I think the song Something was one of the great Beatle songs and one of the best rock recordings and productions of all time. That sound is still incredible. Harrison played his Les Paul on that recording and the lead is his best ever. Maybe one of the best leads of all time as well. I think it’s great that the “dark horse’ came through and in the end proved he was as good or better a musician or song writer than Paul or John. I hear he had a great sense of humor that was quite sarcastic and sometimes a bit off color. Not the “quiet Beatle” that the media made him out to be. RIP Mr. Harrison. You are truly a great and deserve your iconic status.

    posted on June 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm
  65. tommy pano says:

    Thank You Michelle, ” my bell”  -?&*#.
    Appreciate it much, as it’s been haunting me for a while now.
    Take Care…

    posted on June 8, 2013 at 9:56 pm
  66. Artie Fisk says:

    Got to also include his SG, his Casino, and his Les Paul. He did great things with all of them. Also, some very nice acoustic work on his J-200 and a little Ramirez nylon string on “And I Love Her.” Andy Babiuk’s book “Beatles Gear” is excellent, and is required reading for Beatle freaks who are also gear nerds.

    posted on June 10, 2013 at 9:03 am
  67. smokey in MN says:

    I’ll have to agree with R M & the late Ted McCarty about the Gibson ES-335. It’s one of best electric guitars yet conceived. I’ve not yet seen the “Day Tripper” video with George playing a 335. The guy did amazing things with almost any guitar that he had at hand; exciting, soulful & precise.
    The 360 Ric 12 was awesome, also. Anyone know; was Harrison’s Ric strung with the octaves in conventional fashion, or reversed, like Roger McGuin’s?

    posted on June 10, 2013 at 11:16 am
  68. RM says:

    Smokey, I have to correct myself on that Gibson 300 series that George is playing in Day Tripper. He is actually playing a Gibson ES-345. The difference between the 335 and 345 is the 345 had a Varitone Switch. Some people loved the Varitone option and some were not fond of it. I think it may have had Stereo jacks as well. ES meant Electric Spanish and 335 was the cost of the Guitar at the time it was released to the public. So the 345 was ten bucks more for the Varitone Rotary Switch option.
    I’m sure Mr. Harrison had many more Guitars that aren’t even known to the public.
    I’ve read that he was very fond of his Zematis Acoustic Guitars. Those Guitars are seldom mentioned.

    posted on June 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm
  69. Smokey in MN says:

    RM
    I have not played an ES-345, but once played an ES-355. Another $10, It had the Varitone Switch and as I remember, Stereo Output,  [Think, Lucille]. I could be wrong about this, it was 30+ years ago. It was a great axe, in any case.
    Personally, I have an newer Epiphone ES-339, a shrunk-down 335 w/coil-split Duncans; not too bad for the money. George, and probably John, too, would have liked this one. Another one that i’ve had for 30+ years: ES-Artist; no F-holes, onboard compressor, OD, & chorus and… The Switch O’ Death, (the one that kicks in the OD). It squeals like a stuck-pig if your knobs are not set right and will punctuate your set with same and ruin it. OK on psychedelic stuff, sometimes, but very scary, usually. The perfect guitar for Yoko. The Zematis were beautiful.
    I’ll have to look up the “Day Tripper” track for myself and have sigh. George was my favorite Beatle.

    posted on June 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm
  70. Eric says:

    I have to put my 2 cents in for George’s Harptone Larks. He had a 6 and a 12 string Both were given away to members of Splinter. The 12 string is in private hands and the 6 string is located at Hard Rock Café in New York city. The 12 string sold at auction in 2004 for $35,250. Not bad for a guitar that retailed for $450 in 1970. Ringo Also owned one and set up an endorsement deal with Harptone to produce a signature model that was produced from 1973 to 1975.

    posted on June 11, 2013 at 2:05 am
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  72. Larry says:

    George had great collection, all of his guitars are special and made incredible music under his fingertips and thru his musical genius. The Rosewood Tele is by far my favorite, such beautiful wood.  His sense of melody, rhythm and “not overplaying”  for the the benefit of the Song….was a gift.  SRV was a technical powerhouse on the 6 string, brought the blues back to life in fact; but he was more of a showman and overplayed much of the time (exceptions Lenny and Riviera Paradise)...while sounding just like Albert King most of the time.  Either way, All Things Must Pass.  Peace.

    posted on June 12, 2013 at 6:50 am
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  74. 06 explorer says:

    he is in a class by himself, his slide playing is like nobody elses, i should have know cooder had somthing to do with it! george was a wonderfull human being and those of us in the know miss him very much. R.I.P george. heavens a better place with you in it!

    posted on June 15, 2013 at 10:21 am
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