Pete Townshend talks Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster

SUMMER NAMM 2016: When The Who axe-wielder/smasher Pete Townshend first donned Fender's most famous double-cut back in 1989, he pimped an Eric Clapton Strat out with a piezo pickup for acoustic sounds. Now, Fender has paid homage to his famous, ahem, mods with a new limited-edition Stratocaster.

A two-post Fishman Powerbridge provides the piezo acoustic tones (adjusted via an extra control mounted near the vibrato), while three Lace Sensor Gold single coils handle electric sounds.

Elsewhere, Townshend's sig packs a soft V-shaped neck and four-bolt neck plate with Micro-Tilt adjustment; visual appointments include a Torino Red body with NOS finish, maple neck and fingerboard, three-ply W/B/W pickguard and chrome hardware - and, naturally, Townshend's signature adorns the headstock.

As we've come to expect from the Custom Shop, this looks to be a remarkably faithful reincarnation of Pete's versatile Strat - only 75 will be produced with a price tag of $6,500.

There's no word on availability yet, but to tide you over, watch Pete discuss his new model above, or Townshend's tech, Alan Rogan, take you through the features on Pete's original back in 2007 below.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.