Old gold: 1957 Fender Stratocaster
What is there left to say about a 1957 Fender Stratocaster? One of the most popular electric guitars in history, surely there’s not a lot more to add to its illustrious life story?
Well, to begin with, it’s interesting to note that Fender itself is on record as saying 1957 was the year the Stratocaster finally came into focus in terms of build and electronics; a benchmark year that has seen its alumni become the subject of frenzied activity on the collector market, with instruments exchanging hands for astronomical sums.
Most noteworthy among these, of course, was Eric Clapton’s faithful companion ‘Blackie’, which sold at auction on 24 June 2004 for $959,500, shattering the official estimate of a paltry $100,000 to $150,000.
Blackie was not a thoroughbred ’57, though, having been made up by Clapton himself from parts that included a 1956 Strat. But Clapton has stated in the past that a black Strat, to him, sums up a ’57, whereas possibly it’s the Two-Colour Sunburst model that first comes to mind for many.
The guitar pictured here is a fine example of a ’57, in remarkable condition for its age. Despite the fingerboard showing signs of use, the bodywork displays very little in the way of dings or blemishes. Even the volume and tone controls appear clean and tidy – and look at the subtle discolouration of the crack-free pickup covers.
Close-up inspection reveals only the slightest amount of oxidisation to the string saddles and fixing screws - less extreme than you might find on one of the current crop of relics, for instance.
In other words, here’s a ’57 Strat that’s still in fine fettle - totally match-fit and ready to rock!
The guitar pictured here is a fine example of a ’57, in remarkable condition for its age.
In contrast, the fingerboard shows considerable signs of use.
Even the volume and tone controls appear clean and tidy.
Close-up inspection reveals only the slightest amount of oxidisation to the string saddles and fixing screws.