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Author Topic: The Beatles and Fender  (Read 7382 times)

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Brynjar

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The Beatles and Fender
« on: April 28, 2008, 10:15:38 PM »

I know The Beatles were very fond of Buddy Holly and the fact that he wrote his songs himself. And I know they quite liked The Shadows. I wonder how come none of them got themselves a Fender in the beginning? Was it a rather expensinve brand in those days?
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fendertele

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 11:07:28 PM »

fender probably didnt look as cool compared to all makes , nowadays they are cool because there are so many weird shaped and coloured guitars that it is all too much ?
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harihead

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 03:25:03 PM »

Now, I don't have the book so I can't be sure, but I recall Paul mentioning in his autobiography that he had this mentality like, "I can't afford a Fender! That's an _expensive_ guitar!" So actually buying one was like this big mental hurdle, getting past the pound-a-night mentality into feeling that he was actually making money and it might... it could... stay that way.

Anyway, someone who has the book can probably find that reference pretty easily. I keep borrowing things from the library. :)
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BlueMeanie

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 03:31:31 PM »

My first recollection of seeing any of them playing a Fender was of George in the 'I Am The Walrus' sequence, in MMT. Though he may have played one before that, I don't recall seeing any earlier photo's. And I don't think I've ever seen Macca with a Fender.
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Bobber

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 05:40:59 PM »

Paul used to have a Fender Bass, used on Abbey Road if I'm correct.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008, 09:19:38 PM »

John Lennon and George Harrison acquired matching Sonic Blue Fender Stratocasters when they were recording the "Help" album.  George played his Strat recording Nowhere Man.  George later painted his Stratocaster and called it "Rocky," playing it in Magical Mystery Tour, as BM mentioned.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2008, 09:52:21 PM »

Quote from: 63
Paul used to have a Fender Bass, used on Abbey Road if I'm correct.

Right.  A Jazz Bass.  He used it even earlier when recording the White Album.



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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2008, 09:29:01 PM »

I recall too reading somewhere that they were anxious not to look like, or be compared to, the Shadows, who all played Fender guitars.
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raxo

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 12:08:13 PM »

John (and George too) had a Sonic Blue Fender Stratocaster by 1965 ...





... and even used it on stage (Dec 1965) ...
http://www.dmbeatles.com/forums/index.php?topic=8375.20






Now, in this pic you can see their guitars for one of those shows (Sheffield, Dec 8, 1965):



- 2 Hoffners (Paul)
- 12-string Rick and 1 Casino (George)
- 1 Gibson J-160E and 1 black Rick (John) ...

... and, just in the middle, a DARK stratocaster!!!  :o ...
... not the sonic blue one! ...  1965, how?!  :o ... is it another one for John?



Could it be this one? (John, 1980)  ???







P.S. A very interesting warning uppeared before posting:

"this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic."


120 days = 4 months!!! :o ;D
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Bobber

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2010, 06:10:38 PM »


P.S. A very interesting warning uppeared before posting:

"this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic."

120 days = 4 months!!! :o ;D

Reset to a year.
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peterbell1

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2010, 08:26:13 PM »

Now, in this pic you can see their guitars for one of those shows (Sheffield, Dec 8, 1965):



- 2 Hoffners (Paul)
- 12-string Rick and 1 Casino (George)
- 1 Gibson J-160E and 1 black Rick (John) ...

... and, just in the middle, a DARK stratocaster!!!  :o ...
... not the sonic blue one! ...  1965, how?!  :o ... is it another one for John?



Could it be this one? (John, 1980)  ???





Wow - I've never noticed that dark-coloured strat in that 1965 picture of all their guitars back-stage. Very strange.
Is it mentioned in Andy Babuik's Beatles Gear book?

And why would the sonic blue strat be getting used onstage for the soundcheck of that Finsbury Astoria gig in Dec 1965? All pics I've seen of John onstage in the 1965 UK tour (admittedly there aren't very many!) he is using one of his Rickenbackers, not a strat.

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Bobber

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2010, 08:03:16 AM »

It seems that John used the sonic blue during the 1964 Xmas Shows?

Plus I found this quote on another place.  ;D

Quote
Guido says:
February 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm

That seems like a Vox solidbody to me.

I thought at first it was the sonic blue Strat but look at the headstock shape. Most definitely notice a cutout in the middle which was Vox’s design and the body seems a bit odd shaped which was also a feature of a Vox Spitfire.

http://www.voxshowroom.com/us/guitar/spitfire.html

Dunno for certain but my guess is a Vox rather than the Strat.



And this comment:

Quote
he and George both acquired "Sonic Blue" stratocasters in '65. George painted his funny colors and I don't know much about John's. I do know that the film of John and George recording for the album "Imagine" shows George playing the missing Strat at John's house/studio.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 08:42:49 AM by Bobber »
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peterbell1

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2010, 09:21:43 AM »

I'm not buying the Vox Spitfire idea. The headstock in the 1965 backstage guitar pic is definitely a Fender strat shape - the bottom section near where the neck meets the headstock is quite angular on a strat whereas it is very rounded on the Vox Spitfire.



With regard to that 1965 dark-coloured strat possibly being the same one that John is using in the 1980 pic, I found this ....

"In a fall 1980 John Lennon magazine interview (conducted shortly before his death), Lennon describes a brand new Fender Stratocaster guitar he's using as "the cats pajama's", and is pictured holding a Lake Placid Blue STRAT. Rumor has it that Fender was seeking his official endorsement shortly before his tragic passing."

(From ... http://www.stratcollector.com/newsdesk/archives/000273.html)

John's strat in the 1980 pic posted by Raxo above isn't Lake Placid Blue, but maybe John had been given a few Strats by Fender to encourage him to sign an endorsement deal.
It looks to me like he is using this model, which is called Fender "The Strat" and was released in the late '70s (the colour is Candy Apple Red) .....



So this couldn't be the same guitar as is shown in the 1965 backstage guitars picture. That dark 1965 strat remains a mystery!!!
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 09:43:13 AM by peterbell1 »
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peterbell1

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2010, 09:30:25 AM »

George discussing how he got his "Rocky" strat ...

George Harrison-George Talks Fender Guitars

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peterbell1

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2010, 09:35:44 AM »

McCartney using a right-handed Telecaster (but strung left-handed) during the "Pepper" sessions ....


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raxo

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2010, 09:57:44 AM »

Good researches, Bobber and peterbell1  :) ...

I'm not buying the Vox Spitfire idea. The headstock in the 1965 backstage guitar pic is definitely a Fender strat shape - the bottom section near where the neck meets the headstock is quite angular on a strat whereas it is very rounded on the Vox Spitfire.

I agree with you ... the headstock is define-telly a Fender one ... it's the trademark that can't be copied and only imitated 'cos it's copyrighted ... and the arm of the Vox one is bigger than the one posted (looking at the floor) ...

Here, the Vox Spitfire ... that it's close ... but not enough, for me ...

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peterbell1

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2010, 10:04:14 AM »

Having looked round a few Fender forums, I have seen it suggested that John was having problems with the neck of his Rickenbacker during that Dec 1965 tour. So towards the end of the tour he decided to try using his strat instead of the Ric for live performances. I can't find any hard factual sources for this info - I've just read it on a couple of different forums.

So here's my take on it .....

The tour started on Dec 3rd. Pics of John playing on Newcastle on Dec 4th show him using his Ric.

That backstage guitar pic which includes the dark strat was taken in Sheffield on Dec 8th.

The Finsbury Astoria shows where John is seen using his powder blue strat were on Dec 11th - the second last day of the tour. (The final shows were the following day in Cardiff).

I wonder if John had gone out on tour with his Rickenbacker and had started having problems with it during the early dates. So somewhere along the road they got hold of that dark-coloured strat as a back-up guitar (either they bought it while out on tour or just borrowed it from someone for a few days).
When they got back down to London on Dec 10th John was able to get his own Sonic Blue strat from home and he is shown using that at the Finsbury gig on Dec 11th rather than the mystery dark-coloured strat.


I'm having trouble finding a picture of a mid-1960s strat with a coloured headstock. It seems really unusual as every pic I've found has the natural wood headstock.
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raxo

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2010, 10:11:47 AM »

^Great! All that quite possible  :)
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skydropco

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2010, 11:17:59 AM »

McCartney using a right-handed Telecaster (but strung left-handed) during the "Pepper" sessions ....





Isn't that a Fender Esquire?
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peterbell1

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Re: The Beatles and Fender
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2010, 11:38:00 AM »

Isn't that a Fender Esquire?


It certainly is an Esquire. My mistake....    ;sorry

I just looked up the Wikipedia entry for the Esquire ...

"In 1966, Paul McCartney purchased a 1964 Fender Esquire model with a sunburst finish and rosewood  fretboard: McCartney bought this guitar, a right-handed model which he restrung and played "upside-down," during the Revolver sessions. Also used on "Good Morning, Good Morning," "Helter Skelter", and "Maybe I'm Amazed," among other cuts from his solo career."

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Esquire)

I didn't realise that the Esquire pre-dated the Telecaster.

I wonder why Paul chose to buy a right-handed guitar rather than get himself a left-handed one.
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