Was this actually a separate Stratocaster from the blue one John had when they recorded "Nowhere Man"? Or did he just simply paint that one black just as George had his blue Strat painted red with Hindu symbols?
Interesting that there was at least one gig where George played a Gibson ES-345 and John played a Stratocaster.
John's sonic blue strat was a '62. The black one was a '64. The pic of the black one was taken at the Donmar Warehouse in London Nov. 1965. Notice John is using his Vox Python strap. The blue one was used at the Sgt. Pepper sessions in '67. So it couldn't have been painted black. I wonder what happened to both?
Friend: My favorite Beatles song is Band On The Run.
Me: It's not a Beatles song.
Friend: Wot! That guy, that guy, Paul McCartney sings it right?
Friend: Alright! That one is my favorite Beatle song.
The black one is at a rehersal/sound check. lol John's sonic blue and George's blue one (not yet 'Rocky' strat) were both used on 'Ticket to Ride' in 1965. And yeah it does seem odd that no one noticed the black one until now and it was added to Babiuk's new 'Ultimate Beatle Gear Book' edition which came out in Dec. 2015. Makes you wonder if Andy is holding out for the 'Above Ultimate Beatle Gear Book' when he'll release those pics of Paul's missing Hofner Bass under your bed Amadeus!! lol
I think this was the Sonic Blue Strat. Lennon was a big time guitar refinisher. The '58 325, his j160e, the casino, his Les Paul Jr...etc. John in '65 didnt seem to be a guy who would be playing a baby powder blue guit. I think the Sgt. Pepper snap was with Rocky. This black Strat has the 59-62 pickguard hole patern just like the 62 Sonic Blue. There were basically NO stratocasters produced in the mid 60s with a painted headstock. Jaguars had them after 66, but they were 22 frets.
Could be bobbyg. it wasn't seen after the Sgt. Pepper session. Some say they seen the blue one being used later on in the 70's at John's 'Imagine' sessions, but I seen a picture of that one and it had a maple neck and not a rosewood one.
But then again, what happened to the blue to black strat then? and where is it today?
Here is a picture that Rocky's contention that they are two separate Strats. In the first post, with the black Strat, John looks sort of like he did on the Yesterday and Today album cover, first part of 1966.
Below is a link to a picture of John playing the sonic blue Strat. He has a mustache, is wearing glasses, and his hair is relatively short. I would say early 1967 when working on Sgt. Pepper.
Yes henryj we, bobbyg & I, seen that pic. That strat, like bobbyg referred too, might have been George's from an early Sgt. Pepper session in March 1967, before George painted it in late April 1967. George is first seen with Rocky in June '67 for 'All You Need Is Love'.
The pic of the black strat is from Nov. 1965. Neither the black strat or John's blue strat were ever seen again.
We know both John & George had matching blue strats because we have seen John holding one at a rehearsal in late Jan. 1965 and both were at the recording session for 'Ticket To Ride' in Feb. 1965. Also Mal talked about Brian giving him the money to buy both strats telling Mal to make sure they both were the same color so John & George wouldn't bicker over them. lol We also know George's Rocky serial number was 83840 with a Dec. 1961 neck date. And that Mal purchased both of them at Grimwoods. So they were already 4 year old used strats.