Roll up for the Audio Light & Musical Mystery Tour—step right this way!
The telecast was entitled, “Our World.” It was to be the first-ever satellite-link, joining 18 countries and over 400 million viewers from around the globe with a live television broadcast—quite a technological achievement for the time. A BBC-inspired undertaking, The Beatles were asked to perform a song, closing the “Artistic Excellence” portion of the show. As was quite often the case, they chose to offer something of substance and on June 25, 1967 the world heard, as they saw, the performance of “All You Need Is Love.”
Rocky was also introduced that day. Rocky was the name George Harrison gave to his guitar after a recently self-applied psychedelic paint job. He later used it on “Magical Mystery Tour,” after which it was set up for slide and has been one of the primary voices for George’s melodic slide playing. To the best of our knowledge we believe the guitar still resides with the Harrison estate.
After seeing the Rosewood, Hollow T Classic from Guitar of the Week for August 24, 2003, Dave and Barry of Audio Light & Musical in Norfolk, Virginia, were deeply inspired. Now engaged upon a magical mission of their own, they would not be dissuaded until we agreed to re-create this mythical Mystery Tour paint job on a flawlessly playing Anderson Classic.
Barry explained, “Dave and I decided to do this because we are both huge Beatle fans but more than that, when do you ever get a chance to have Tom make a guitar like this for you? Neither one of us even had to think about it. It was just immediately obvious that it had to be done. What a special guitar this is! Our experience with ventures of this type has been very successful in the past. We had a J-200 made for a customer with the Led Zeppelin III album artwork painted on the front and their four faces on the back. As it ended up, this guy got to meet Jimmy Page and Jimmy actually played the guitar backstage. So, we knew we had to do an Anderson, Classic this way.”
With Audio Light and Musical’s point well taken, we painted the base coat of the instrument and once again employed the unparalleled artistic services of our friend, Dan Lawrence from GMW Guitars, for the graphic treatment. He truly is the master and duplicated every inch of the original to create this new rendition. Upon its return, we applied the clear coat and buffed it to a kaleidoscopic thing of beauty.
Underneath these psychedelic swerves and trimmings lies the heart of perfection that is The Classic. An alder body was chosen to sculpt its tonally rich character—lending low-midrange dominance, upper-mid accentuation and a rich, complex overtone structure in support of the pure vintage voiced VA1, VA1R and VA2 pickups—aligned as such from neck to bridge.
An Indian Rosewood fingerboard somehow seems most appropriate as it crowns the eastern hard rock maple back, together creating the sleek, fast feel that is a T/A Standard backshape—selected this time with a more traditional 1 5/8-inch nut width. And how could any player not but be enraptured with the added liquidity and seamless playability granted of Anderson’s Exclusive Stainless Steel frets? It’s “Mediums” for this baby.
To keep the visuals in line, this Classic retains the original look of a 3-knob set up—instead of the usual Anderson twin arrangement of master volume and tone. To allow the trio to operate at maximum efficiency, the knob closest to the pickups is assigned master volume duties. The middle knob exercises a tonal influence over positions 1 through 4 of the 5-Way (that is neck through middle & bridge combinations) while the 3rd knob has been granted sole proprietorship of bridge pickup timbre, enabling the most flexible arrangement with a 3-knob system.
Although there seems to be some rumors flying around to the contrary, there was no extra-special treatment of any kind concerning the handling or testing of this miraculous guitar after its completion. We simply initiated normal Anderson procedures prior to shipping.
In many ways life is somewhat of a magical mystery tour. Not knowing what lies ahead is certainly the mystery but with an open hand it can become magic. All You Need Is to offer Love and soon you will begin the journey that can become a Magical Mystery Tour.
Oh my gosh, so much for, “No pictures of Roy on the website.” Somebody take that guitar away from him before he takes it home. He is not the walrus you know!
• MODEL: – The Classic
• FINISH: – Magical Mystery Tour—Custom Graphics
• BODY WOOD: – Alder
• BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same
• NECK WOOD: – Maple with Indian Rosewood Fingerboard
• HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Matching
• NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
• NECK BACKSHAPE: – T/A Standard
• NUT WIDTH: – 1 5/8-inch
• SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2-inch
• FRETS: – Medium—Exclusive Anderson Stainless Steel
• BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo
• TUNING GEAR: – Locking
• HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
• PICKGUARD: – Custom Graphics
• NECK PICKUP: – VA1
• MIDDLE PICKUP: – VA1R
• BRIDGE PICKUP: – VA2
• SWITCHING: – 5-Way with 3 Knobs—for 5 Sounds plus tonal variations
• PICKUP COVERS: – Custom Graphics
• PICKUP RINGS: – N/A
• STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046 Elixir Nanoweb
• DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Audio Light & Musical/Norfork, Virginia