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Eric Johnson Strats - First Year Custom Shop Made??


image from: forums.fender.com - user: HemiRam

A recent YouTube upload (since removed) by Stratosphere18 prompts this post. Seems the guy he purchased a 2005 EJ Strat from let him know those first year models were "produced by Fender Custom Shop". Then he shows us the Custom Shop case with case candy, tags, strap, etc. to "prove" it (no FCS COA though).

Having never heard this, I Googled around, and actually found a couple related discussions at Strat-Talk. One "expert" comment indicated that the first 1000 EJ's were CS. There was also mention of the first run serial #'s being longer, then starting over at some point within the first year, which somehow was supposed to align with the Custom Shop thing...

All this was really news to me, and I've been digging into EJ Strats at this blog, and monitoring them at eBay since 2006. So WTF, right??

An email query to Fender Consumer Relations provided this quick response from Matthew H.:

"The Eric Johnson Artist Series Stratocasters were never produced by the Fender Custom Shop, the case presented in the video is a Limited Edition case which would only come with a guitar that had a limited edition decal and neck plate, additionally the strap in the video was introduced long after the EJs were introduced"

 (refers to the aforementioned video)

I also spoke to my go-to crew at Wildwood Guitars in Colorado, who received the first hundred 2005 EJ Strats, and responded same as Fender. BTW, Wildwood is the largest Fender Custom Shop independent dealer; 2nd only to Guitar Center, but operating from ONE store location.

So, we can put the rumor to rest.

Ya gotta wonder what our case/candy bait YouTube boy paid for his '05 EJ...

If you frequent gear discussion/forum sites, watch for this one, and correct it with a reference to this post.

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