1961 Fender Stratocaster
The 1961 Fender Stratocaster has deeper tones, a wider neck, and has been used by some of our favorite guitar hero's.
Fender Strats are popular, there’s no arguing that point, but there are a few models that stand out as the best of the best.
One of these is the '61 Fender Stratocaster.
There are musicians, wannabe’s, and legends that play and have played on 61 Strats.
A few of the features that made a 61 Strat different from its predecessors include a deeper red in the sunburst design, and a darker black around the edges.
The richer colors made the sunburst pattern (that Fender is so well-known for) much more pronounced than it was before.
The neck also changed a little; it was made thicker, and the back larger and more comfortable to play on.
The peg head in 1961 contained patent numbers. Subtle changes, but subtle can mean a world of difference in a collector’s universe.
This is especially true with guitar collecting, where there are infinite features, colors, and styles.
A 1961 Fender Stratocaster has some great features, true enough…but what makes it a great collectible is the long line of famous (or notorious) 61 Strats that have graced the stages of some of the greats.
First in that line of legends is the first 61 Strat to perform in Ireland, in the talented hands of Rory Gallagher.
Gallagher was a blues man, a songwriter, and could play any instrument you put in front of him.
His favorite, though, was his 1961 sunburst Fender.
He got the Strat cheap in 1963, as it was an unwanted guitar someone shipped to Ireland by mistake, and modified it to suit him.
That formerly unwanted Strat toured with him for the rest of his career.
Rory earned his own signature Rory Gallagher Tribute Stratocaster in 1997, an exact copy of his battered and bruised 1961 Fender Stratocaster.
The Tribute Strat even has identical battle scars.
Known for his hit song “Blue on Black,” blues artist Kenny Wayne Shepherd found his meant-to-be guitar when he was around sixteen.
Unfortunately, he was broke and had to leave it hanging in a store in California.
A year later, visiting the same store, Shepherd found the exact same guitar still waiting for him.
Not wanting to tempt fate yet again, he bought the slightly worn 1961 Fender Strat and has played with it ever since.
Beatles fans know the names John Lennon and George Harrison; die-hard Beatles fans know that both men played matching blue 1961 Stratocasters.
They were purchased the same day by a roadie the band sent out to pick up a couple of guitars…and Brian Epstein was to pick up the tab if he brought back two Strats that were the same color.
George Harrison named his “Rocky,” and gave it a paint job in wild Psychedelic colors.
Rumor has it that he even used his wife’s green nail polish on it.
A 1961 Fender Stratocaster? Yeah…she’s a treasure.
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