sonic blue fender stratocaster

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February 1965.

John Lennon playing his 1961 Sonic Blue Fender Stratocaster (top six) which would not only be used during the recording of Nowhere Man, but as well as during the Sgt. Pepper (BL) sessions. The Sonic made very few public appearances, such as during a sound check in December ‘64 (BR).

One day late in 1964, John Lennon and George Harrison sent their roadie, Mal Evans, out to “get a couple Strats,” and came back from Grimwoods in Kent with two ‘61 models in a rare colour. Although a similar model with a maple fretboard is seen during the Imagine sessions, it is unknown today as to where the original is.

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On this day in music history: February 21, 1966 - “Nowhere Man” by The Beatles is released. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is recorded October 21 - 22, 1965 in Studio Two at Abbey Road Studios in London. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the twenty fourth US single for the legendary rock band from Liverpool, UK. Composed primarily by John Lennon, he comes up with the song after spending five hours trying to write something without success. Finally, the words and melody come to him all at once. Lennon shows what he’s come up with to McCartney, who helps him complete the song. “Nowhere Man” represents another departure for The Beatles, with Lennon and McCartney writing more introspective material, moving away from the subject matter of their earlier work which focused more on love and romance. Another one of the songs’ crowning touches is the dual guitar solo played by George Harrison and John Lennon on a pair of matching ‘61 sonic blue Fender Stratocasters, purchased for them by their roadie Mal Evans from Grimwoods Music in Whitstable, Kent. When the song is mixed, Lennon and Harrison asks producer George Martin and engineer Norman Smith, double the amount of treble on the guitars to create an even brighter and cutting sound that is instantly apparent on the finished recording. Originally a track on the UK version of “Rubber Soul, the song is left off of the US version of the album and is instead released as a stand alone single backed with the country flavored "What Goes On” (#81 Pop) sung by Ringo Starr, also extracted from the UK version of “Rubber Soul”. “Nowhere Man” peaks at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 26, 1966. Both songs make their US album debut on the compilation “Yesterday And Today” in June of 1966. “Nowhere Man” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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Thursday Night Guitar Shopping at the amazing Cosmo Music megastore just north of Toronto, Canada:

  1. Not sure…this may be one of the 60th Ann. Strats or it may be a “Select”.  Either way it is distinctive.  Check out the “binding” on the neck.  It’s actually a channel cut into the maple into which the fretboard is inserted.  Looks like binding…but it ain’t binding!
  2. Incredibly gorgeous Custom Shop Jazz Bass.  Wow.  The price tag is “wow” too…  :\
  3. Is this a dream rack?  Or a rack of monotony?
  4. Speaking of cool basses…here’s a Custom Shop Jaco Pastorius FRETLESS JB.  I won’t even consider telling you the price lest you have a heart attack and die and I get sued by your grieving relatives for sending you to an early grave.
  5. Hahaha…the Strat bookends (sorry for the repeat, but I love them so much!)
  6. Yes Suhr!
  7. Yes Suhr!  Part 2.
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Tuesday night guitar shopping this week at a great store called Cosmo Music in Richmond Hill Ontario, just north of Toronto (Canada).

It’s always interesting to visit this shop…they are huge.  They even have a special room upstairs for the high-end stuff.  And man, they have some seriously high-end stuff!

  1. It’s a Les Paul sandwich!  Custom Shop Strat (top left) and Select Tele (top right).
  2. Fender - I have to say - you guys are really getting experimental with the finishes!  So many different ones have popped up on various lines over the last year or two.  Here’s an American Deluxe in a new copper-gold colour.
  3. (see above)
  4. An American Standard in a hand rubbed finish…also interesting!
  5. Custom Shop early 50s Tele Relic.  Note to self: black ‘guard on blonde with round string tree = early 50s on a Telecaster.  Just an FYI if you ever see one in a pawn shop…  :D
  6. RORY!
  7. Here’s another look at that Rack-O-Strats.  I heard a sales person saying that some of these were Olympic White and Sonic Blue (or Daphne Blue???  Damn I can’t keep this stuff straight!!) rather than Surf Green…
  8. Another example of an interesting new finish on an American Deluxe.
  9. This might have been an American Std. HSS (rather than a “Deluxe”) but again…another new and different finish.  Thanks Fender for keeping things interesting!  :D