|click image for close-up|
It seems appropriate that our first 2014 post be a reminder that this year is the 60th birthday of the Fender Strat, introduced in 1954.
Note: Just to avoid any confusion, Fender's 60th Anniversary Strat models from 2006 commemorated the company's 1946 launch.
Besides Fender's '54 Strat Reissue models, we now have a 60th birthday model.
|Claimed Prototype Strat owned by Eldon Shamblin|
|Ser# 0001 Strat owned by David Gilmour|
So, the most iconic & copied solid body electric guitar shape to this day, turns 60 years old this year. More iconic than the Les Paul? Simply search "electric guitar" in Google Images, and see/count the results. We also owe Hendrix over 10 years later, because the Strat was slated for discontinuation just before Jimi burst onto the scene. The short story is that Leo intended for the Strat to attract Jazz/archtop players, which it didn't. County players who had gravitated to Tele's, mostly stuck with them with very few exceptions. Interestingly, Eldon Shamblin, who loved the Strat, played Western Swing-- a genre combining Jazz & Country. Surf players dug the look of the Strat, but by the late 60's, Surf had declined on the Pop music charts. And Strat sales had also slumped dramatically.
MARCH 18, 1967 - One day after the release of Purple Haze.
Since then, the Strat hasn't always dominated the market, but it has been greatly boosted along the way by SRV, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen and even John Mayer, besides earlier legends Clapton, Jeff Beck, Trower and Rory Gallagher. I think it's safe to say the Strat will be around for quite awhile longer!
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