Since its conception in 1954, the Fender Stratocaster has undoubtedly become the most iconic guitar of all time. Countless players from all genres have been seen on stage holding one of these guitars over the past 50 years, from Jimi Hendrix to Yngwie Malmsteen. This book by guitar expert Tony Bacon looks at the complete history of Fender Stratocaster guitars, packed with pictures and facts about one of the best selling musical instruments ever made.
The story behind the legend
The story goes back to the birth of Leo Fender in 1909, who would later become a man that changed the face of music forever. The Stratocaster Guitar Book tells this tale in full detail, explaining Leo’s background and life experiences that eventually led to creating this remarkable instrument. There is information on the original prototype guitars and how different features were changed until the final Stratocaster as we know it was born in 1954. The book then goes through the different decades, focusing on the popular music of each era and obviously the musicians most associated with what we now affectionately call ‘The Strat’.
Easy and fun to read
There are some great pictures of early musicians like Buddy Holly and Dick Dale with information on the exact models they played, and a detailed insight into the tone woods used and different finishes available at that time. The narrative also includes quotes from some of the greatest guitar players of all time, explaining what was going on in music back then and why the Strat meant so much to them. One great thing about this book is how it is broken up into digestible chunks of information, with a few pages of narrative followed by a few pages of pictures and so on. This makes The Stratocaster Guitar Book an absolute pleasure to read, ensuring that it is as fun as it is informative.
The end of the book is an in-depth reference listing, with details on every Stratocaster model produced since 1954 and the characteristics of each run. It’s amazing to see how one guitar has been made out of so many different woods and parts over the course of 50 years, with all manner of pickups installed to convert the vibration of the strings into electrical energy, which is then ready to be amplified. There is even a guide on how to date guitars, as the individual serial numbers can show us what year and even what factory each guitar was built in. It would be so easy for a book like this to run the risk of becoming complicated, but as it has been written and presented in such a user-friendly format The Stratocaster Guitar Book is a fantastic read for anyone.