Jimi Hendrix's Monterey Stratocaster
It was one of the most iconic moments in rock history: Jimi Hendrix knelt down, sprayed his guitar with lighter fluid and then set fire to it before smashing it to pieces. Jimi Hendrix was 24 at the time. I can understand the basis as the Jimi Hendrix Monterey Strat was really a clever and unique design before Jimi burned it at the Monterey International Pop Festival on June 18th 1967. Jimi played on the third and final day of that historic festival. He hit the stage prior to the WHO who were scheduled to play after Jimi that day. Peter Townsend was known to have said, "We came on after him, and all I could do was just stand there and strum."
The actual guitar that he painted and subsequently burned that evening was a 65 Strat in Fiesta Red. Prior to the concert Jimi hand painted the body with white spray paint and fingernail polish. The actual guitar paint work was actually very crudely done with overspray from the white paint on the hardware and no finish work after he hand painted the intricate, and now famous design. No color photographs of the complete guitar were ever taken. The only recorded history of the guitar is from the video footage of Jimi playing the guitar and subsequently burning the guitar in sacrifice with lighter fluid and matches.
Fender released a tribute version of the Jimi Hendrix Monterey Strat which was painted by artist Pamelina H. Her design differs slightly from the original Hendrix artwork and Fender added the backstage pass sticker to the body which was not found on the original. The pass features a photo of Hendrix burning the guitar by Ed Caraeff. Fender announced the guitar in July of 1996 but was finally made available in 1997. It originally had a MSRP of $6999.00. An original Fender Monterey Strat recently sold on eBay for the bargain price of $15,000.00 within the past 90 days.
Interestingly this guitar has become synonymous with John Mayer. A great guitar player in his own right it’s interesting that he now gets billed with Hendrix on this very unique and very Hendrix guitar. But so goes the world of Pop today. Actually I have seen Kenny Wayne Shepard play one of these and he just smokes with this thing. If you like Hendrix, SRV, then as much as John Mayer can wrangle some mojo from a Strat, KWS will make the hair on your neck stand up and bring tears to your eyes. So enough of the history.
Apparently there are no color photos of the original guitar. These are screenshots from YouTube of the original concert. Here is an interesting shot of the real guitar being wrangled by Mr. Hendrix minutes before it was smashed and burned. Note how orange the Fiesta Red looks. It is also interesting to note that Mr. Hendrix probably didn't do a meticulous tear down of the guitar prior to painting. I bet the flat white paint, or at least overspray, was on the bridge and the pickguard of the original. Note that the transition of Fiesta Red to flat white covers a pretty large area on the original.
Here is a shot of the back of the guitar, again minutes before it met its fiery fate. Note the tremolo cover is on the back and there is a fairly sharp paint line along the top of the contour. We also believe that the contour has some overspray on it.
After looking at a number of photos, we think it is probably fair to assume that Mr. Hendrix didn't use masking tape on the edge. Rather, he probably just had the guitar laying on its back and sprayed the edges that way.
Finally, another shot of the original. Note how much thicker the painted lines are on this guitar when compared to the reissue. It is clear that Fender had to spruce up their reissue to get the Guitar Center crowd to plop down the dough. It is also fair to say that most of these guitars were likely bought by vintage guitar speculators, some of whom probably had never heard of the Monterey Pop Festival.
Note how the white paint overspray goes to the input jack. It is probably fair to assume that Mr. Hendrix used some masking tape across the input jack, bridge, and pickguard. We'll get our paint line somewhere in the middle.
This is what the original, mega-buck 1997 Fender Custom Shop Strat Hendrix Tribute Strat looks like. Note that it is based a early 60's Fiesta Red Strat with some custom graphics. The graphics, originally painted by Mr. Hendrix and reproduced by an artist for the Custom Shop, are in black, turquoise, and dark red. Please note that the Fender Custom Shop version flower design is slightly different with the original. Note: We absolutely hate the sticker Fender placed on the guitar. You can see it -- it looks like a backstage pass with a photo of Mr. Hendrix burning the guitar. Very odd for a megabuck guitar. But if you like, we can provide it too.
In the sea of project Strat listings, we're seeing more project tribute models these days, built by and for folks who don't wanna pay five figures for limited run guitars. We have professional 100% hand painted work with more authentic perspective. Note that Jimi Hendrix’s original guitar paint job has some slightly different with Fender's Pamelina replica. First, she painted a red rose on the upper horn; this guitar has the correct pink and yellow daisy. The original has the red and green swirls on the pickguard, and not just green swirls. This is the real deal for any Hendrix fan or someone looking for a historic or interesting guitar. Please note that both versions can be custom made. Jimi Hendrix other guitars, such as his flying V, we can do the replication too.
As we all konw that the 65 strat had the truss rod adjustment at the body end of the neck. But many modern strat neck has the truss rod adjustment is at the headstock. Of course the later one is easier for you to adjust. However, we just want do it historically correct, and both version can be provided. So feel free to choose the type your prefer. Regarding to other parts of the guitar, including body wood, electronics, hardwares and so on, just feel free to contact us for your own unique Monterey Strat.
Warning: We don't recommend buying other cheap copies because some very obvious mistakes occurred, although the price is very attractive. See the comparison below:
After comparing, you will find that the second one is nothing. The paint work is so poor, merely decal making graphics. The bright white controls plus light yellow pickguard, that would be a heavy hit for anyone who receive it. And note the sticker, just a mistake. Many other mistakes you could find out very easily. We don't know how to make a cheap guitar that's not a piece of junk like the right one. If you wind up buying one replica of Jimi Hendrix Monterey Strats, make sure the paperwork is airtight.
The Pamelina design is not historically accurate nor was it meant to be. You can own yourself Monterey Strat. We used stills from the video to come up with as close a design as we could. Our replicated guitar would be historically correct as much as possible within the confines of reasonable price and playability. Please note that the price in our website is our bottom line for the decal graphics, and the hand painting would be a little higher than that. Email us now and get your own Monterey Pop Strat.
Notice For All Buyers:Thank you for your attention. Here are something you might want to know about this guitar.
1. This guitar is available in both right handed and left handed version. Even it is not showing in lefty version, we still able to customize this guitar in left handed for you. You just have to tell us when you place the order.
2. If you want to place the order, just send us email, we will help you to place your customize order.
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