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The Beatles - George Harrison's Guitars

Updated on October 12, 2009

George Playing his Gibson SG, Cherry Red

The Beatles - George Harrison Guitars



George Harrison was lead guitarist for The Beatles. Because of this status it is not surprising that he owned, borrowed and played some of the world’s best renowned guitars. There are many web sites that go into depth about The Beatles and their musical history and performances; I wanted to provide a brief summary for those of you interested in guitars, music and The Beatles that you may appreciate this great player.  

Delicia Resonet Futurama

George's Gretch

Country Gent

The Early Years

1956: Egmond steel-string Spanish style - colour: sunburst – 1958 played with The Quarrymen - Paul McCartney’s band – NOT USED IN THE BEATLES

1958: Hofner President, f-hole acoustic, single cutaway, cello style – colour: sunburst – played in early club days

1959: Hofner Club 40 - Model: 244, round control panel – played in early club days.

1959: Delicia Resonet Futurama, solid-body electric – colour: red sunburst – used on Scotland tour in 1960 and then Hamburg - played on recording, ‘Cry for a Shadow’.

1961: Gretch 6128 Duo Jet, semi-solid mahogany body – colour: black, with silver scratch plate. –played in Hamburg.

1962: Gibson J-160E, electrified Jumbo acoustic – played on ‘With the Beatles’, ‘Please please me’ and ‘Sgt Pepper’ sessions.

1963: Gretch 6131 Jet Fire Bird, single cutaway – colour: red, with black scratch plate – played at Cavern Club rehearsals

1963: Gretch 6122 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman, walnut finish, gold machine parts, neo classic inlays with dial-up mutes – recorded ‘She Loves You’ and ‘With The Beatles’.

1963: Maton Mastersound MS-500, Australian solid-body – played on stage at Grafton Rooms, Liverpool and Winter Gardens, Margate among others.

1963: Gretch 6122 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman, flip-up mutes – ’64 and ’65 US tour and on Ed Sullivan Show

1963: Gretch 6119 Tennessean, double pick-up, single cutaway, with painted on f-holes – played in ‘For Sale’ and ‘Sgt Pepper’ sessions and on tours during ’64 and ’65.

1963: Jose Ramirez Guitarra Estudio, acoustic Spanish style with nylon strings – miked for ‘Til There was You’ and ‘I love Her’.

1963: Rickenbacker 425 Fire-glo, solid body – played on TV for ‘Ready Steady Go’ and ‘Thank your Lucky Stars’

Rickenbacker 360-12 Fire-Glo

George's Fender Stratocaster

Gibson played in film 'Help'

Later Beatles

1964: Gretch 12-string electric – ‘George Harrison Special’ – given to him by Gretch, which he then gave away.

1964: Rickenbacker 360-12 Fire-glo, electric 12-string with binding on top and back, triangle inlays and trapezoid tailpiece – recorded ‘I should Have Known Better’, ‘I call Your Name’ and ‘Hard Days Night’.

1964: Vox-Mando – Guitar V257, Mandolin style 12-string guitar – played on ‘Beatles For Sale’ album.

1965: Rickenbacker 360-12 Fire-glo, deluxe triangle fingerboard inlays, rounded cutaways and checked binding on the back and 5 Chrome control knobs and an ‘R’ tailpiece – Played at Live performances and recorded ‘If I needed Someone’.

1965: Fender Stratocaster, solid body – colour: sonic blue – played on ‘Nowhere Man’ and ‘Rubber Soul’ sessions, painted psychedelic and called it ‘Rocky’ for ‘All you Need is Love’, then played on ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and ‘I am A Walrus’.

1965: Gibson ES-345-TD – Colour: tobacco sunburst – played on ‘Daytripper’ and ‘We Can Work it Out’ along with ’65 UK tour and in picture on 'Help' film.


1966: Epiphone ES230TD Casino, hollow body, electric semi-acoustic – colour: sunburst – played on ‘Sgt Pepper’ sessions and tour and on ’Hello Goodbye’.

1966: Gibson SG Standard, solid body – colour: Cherry Red – played on ‘Revolver’ sessions and on promo film for ‘Lady Madonna’

1966: Burns Nu-sonic Bass – played in studio for recording ‘Paperback writer’.

1967: Danelectro Coral Electric Sitar – NOT USED IN THE BEATLES

1967: Vox Kensington - no record found of performances for this guitar

1968: Gibson J-200 Acoustic jumbo – Recorded ‘Let it Be’, ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and played on ‘White Album’ sessions.

1968: Fender Bass VI, 6 stringed – played on ‘Abbey Road’ album and ‘Hey Jude’.

1968: Gibson Les Paul Standard ‘ Lucy’ – given to him by Eric Clapton - played on ‘Let it Be’ and ‘Abbey Road’ sessions.

1968: Gibson SG Les Paul– colour: black – given to him by Eric Clapton – NOT USED IN THE BEATLES

1968: Fender Jazz Bass – given to him by Fender

1969: Fender Telecaster, solid body, rosewood with maple middle – given to him by Fender (one of two only ever made) – played on ‘Let it Be’ sessions and ‘the rooftop’ concert.

Burns Nu-sonic Bass

George's Fender Telecaster


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    • profile image

      Steve 5 years ago

      Just thought I'd pass along that the Fender Stratocaster (from "I Am the Walrus") is at the Hard Rock Cafe - Niagara Falls, Canada. (At least it was couple years ago when I was there.)

    • profile image

      nick 7 years ago

      You do realize that the quarry men was not McCarteny's band, but in fact it was actually Lennon's. Lennon had been in the band for about 1-2 months before McCarteny even joined the band. Also, the Les Paul that Eric Clapton gave him was cherry red, not black. All in all, this is a good article, but it just needs some fine tuning.

    • profile image

      bow 7 years ago

      great info on one of my all time favorite guitar players

      thanks a lot

    • shimla profile image

      shimla 7 years ago

      Great run down of one of my favorite musician's guitars. Thanks, Shimla

    • profile image

      BigSyd-2009 7 years ago

      This sitar from 1965 was used on Rubber Soul's "Norwegian Wood"

    • Foz profile image

      Foz 8 years ago from Lichfield, Staffordshire

      Thanks Tom, glad you enjoyed it

    • Tom Cornett profile image

      Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      Great hub...George Harrison was may favorite Beatle. Cool guitar info! Thanks! :)