This artwork gets its inspiration from George Harrison’s Fender Stratocaster named Rocky. Here is George talking about the guitar in this poorly lit video:
Even though this music comes from The Beatles famous White Album, that I still remember standing in line to buy, it is this tribute video, with Prince, that hooked me to paint this music:
At first I was going to keep the background for this artwork as simple as possible. This was to be a small quick turn-around work, about 34 inches in length. To keep this artwork clean-looking I painted the background around the center guitar neck image, a solid pale green. That look worked, but only if I was thinking of the post Beatles musician George Harrison and his album All Things Shall past.
I said that I originally heard this song on that album I stood in line for on that late November day in 1968. That remembrance made me realize that I needed an early George Harrison. Actually finding him was easy once I gave up the idea of a simple painting. In my research, for this music, I had come across the story of his Rocky guitar. It obviously is a treasure trove of color and shapes. I could no longer resist this challenge and potential fun.
Regretfully, I could not find any mention or video of George Harrison playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps with this guitar, but the timeline was consistent. Here is a short clip of the Rocky guitar from I am the Walrus on the 1967 Magical Mystery Tour album:
The results of changing my thinking will be a complicated artwork, that will be a lot more interesting, and more important than I originally thought. No other choice. No filler painting here.
Scott Von Holzen