In a wide-ranging discussion with our friends at Guitar World (opens in new tab), Fender CEO Andy Mooney has revealed that he tried - and failed - to buy David Gilmour's #0001 Strat (opens in new tab) when it was sold at auction alongside the Pink Floyd legend's $3.975 million Black Strat at Christie's in New York last year.
Although Gilmour's revered Black Strat was featured on numerous Pink Floyd albums such as Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall, the #0001 Strat (opens in new tab) is notable for different reasons.
The 1954 Stratocaster is a rare white example from the year, with gold anodised pickguard and gold hardware.
“My holy grail was the David Gilmour Strat,” Mooney said. “ I tried to convince David for many years to at least give me access to it so we could do some Custom Shop replicas but he was never willing to do it.
"Now I know why, looking at how much that guitar went for.
“I bid on it actually! I played it at Christie’s when they put it on a roadshow along with his black Strat.
"So at least I got to touch it and play it… but sadly that one will never make it into the collection!”
In pictures: highlights of David Gilmour's astonishing guitar auction (opens in new tab)
The guitar ended up selling for $1,815,000.
“We know that this is not the very first Fender Stratocaster," said Kerry Keane of Christie’s New York in 2019 (opens in new tab). But what we do know is that Leo Fender, in 1954 and 1955 and afterwards, when a musician helped him in the design or the promotion of his instruments, he would often have a fancy custom made guitar built for them and put that Number One serial plate on the back. And this is what the story is with this guitar."
In the interview Mooney also discusses a record-breaking year for Fender, the way the big F’s buyers have changed, and the business lessons he learned from Steve Jobs. Check it out at Guitar World.