The Gilmour Strat

Johnnie and his new David Gilmour StratHere’s the first of our bloggers to own the David Gilmour Stratocaster.

Thanks, Johnnie. Your comments after the best part of a week spent getting a feel for your new guitar are very welcome.

If you’ve ordered one, we’d love to hear from you (not least to find out if your book was autographed, as it should have been). If you’ve played one in-store, how was it?

If you haven’t visited Fender’s microsite yet, it tells you everything you could possibly wish to know about this guitar, including its history in timeline form and, of course, where you can get your hands on one.

The Mexican Strat, painted by Gerald Scarfe, signed by Pink Floyd and being auctioned in aid of Crisis, by the way, is currently at £15,500. Bidding ends on 31 October at 11:00 (UK).

The chatroom is open today from 15:00 (UK). Everyone is welcome. There’s another chat on Wednesday, this time from 13:00 (UK), if that suits you better.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

52 thoughts on “The Gilmour Strat”

  1. To Johnnie Floyd (Chicago),

    I think you may have thought it was me you may have offended on the previous entry. Let me assure you that was not the case. Just an example & more of a dig at myself for wanting a DG Strat & feeling hard done by as things are a bit tight at the moment, meaning being a bit stretched so that I can’t afford the guitar, as opposed to not being able to feed my children is a bit different…

    Johnnie, enjoy that guitar. (Yeah I’m jealous too, but black just isn’t my colour)…

  2. Nice axe Johnnie.

    £15,500 is a lot of money, but I still think it will go for more like £25,000.

  3. I’m jealous, too, Johnnie!

    Graham, didn’t you know you can have the Black Strat in any color you want, just as long as it’s black?

    It would be great if we had a lottery for one. I’m sure it would more than pay for the price with overages going to one of David’s charities.

    I’ve been spending the morning watching fans of David play songs on MySpace and they can Rock! I hope Johnnie makes a video of a Gilmour tune he is playing.

  4. Last night the third and final part of the BBC T.V. show “The Story Of The Guitar” featuring an excellent chat with David along with a short clip from the Mermaid Theatre, London concert with a crowd shot with myself and my wife standing up in the third row!

    A nice chat with my other guitar hero Pete Townshend was rounded off this morning with the news that The Who will play 2 small club shows in London 10 days before Xmas.

    Gary Hurley, London, England.

  5. Johnnie, I hope as a child you learnt to share….so if you could have the guitar posted over to me, I would be very much obliged, thanks in advance.



  6. I was disappointed that Richard Wright’s last radio interview was not available for U.S. listeners. Hopefully, that will change.

    Absolutely love the Live In Gdansk DVD (I bought the 5 disc set), although it was difficult watching it the first time. You and Richard have been my favorite musicians for over 40 years, and I feel a large hole in my heart that Richard’s magical music filled. God bless his family, and you too, David. I know this must be extremely difficult for you.

  7. Wow! The Black Strat looks even more beautiful in your hands, Johnnie! I understand your excitement! You must be so proud!

    20 October… Happy birthday, Paul C! (If I remember well…)


    [Yes, Happy Birthday. – FEd]

  8. Well, I got my Strat, and it is a beautiful piece of work.

    It plays beautifully, and the sound is amazing.

    Fed, here’s a link to a photo of mine…relaxing at its new home (click my name)…

    I have to commend Phil, David, and the folks at Fender for getting together and working so hard on this. Although it is pricey, it really is worth it…at least in my mind.

    [Thanks, George. (Was your copy of Phil’s book signed?) – FEd]

  9. Hey Johnnie,

    I’m not jealous at all, hope that you will enjoy it very long… I’m curious to hear when you’ll have to overhaul the frets. 😉

    Best regards,

  10. I hope it´s okay to say something about the topic of the last blog entry. (I haven´t always the chance to go online).

    I think it´s a bit unfair and wrong if people say that there aren´t enough resources for all of us and if we raise the living standard of the third world countries we will make it even worse. Not all of their problems are self made, for some of them our own big corporations are as much responsible.

    I was for example shocked to hear that farmers in some countries are forced to seed genetically-altered crops that can only harvested but no new seed can made from it. So that they must buy every year new seed from the big corporations. For very much money – often too much. And they are no longer allowed to use the kind of crop they have always used, just because a big corporation had paid some money to make it copyrighted. That sounds like a big joke but it´s true.

    Sorry for writing this in the wrong blog entry. I hope it´s okay.

    And the black Strat looks great, Johnnie.


    [Good point, Irene. Thanks for that. – FEd]

  11. Happy Birthday Paul.

    I bet Johnnie and George are thrilled with their new guitars. Thanks for the pics.

    I think it sucks that bids on the Scarfe guitar increase in steps of £500. That’s not fair.

  12. Certainly a sweet looking guitar.

    Could Johnnie or George comment on the short trem. Is it awkward or more comfortable?

    As for the last blog topic, I was in the midst of sending another entry and FEd shut it down. So it goes sometimes. But I hope some people got something out of that string of entries.



  13. [Was your copy of Phil’s book signed? – FEd]

    Yes, FEd, my book was signed! All the goodies that came with the guitar are a nice touch as well.

    [Good to hear, George. (Johnnie, you should contact Fender and ask why yours wasn’t.) – FEd]

  14. [I think it sucks that bids on the Scarfe guitar increase in steps of £500. That’s not fair. – JJ]

    This is a guitar that at 15,500 pounds is still under the reserve price. I figure this could easily go for 50,000. 500 increments is very understandable at this stage.

    Cheers, Howard

  15. I am suffused with envy.

    C’mon, dude, just let me hold it…

    Okay, I reread that and I really should never say that out loud, should I? I still want to hold the guitar. 🙂

  16. My reaction upon seeing today’s picture is akin to one dreamy-eyed Homer Simpson’s upon seeing a doughnut…


    Have fun, dude…and I think I may have to make my way to Baltimore to visit my dear old friend George Gipe…out of genuine concern for his well being of course…

  17. [I was disappointed that Richard Wright’s last radio interview was not available for U.S. listeners. Hopefully, that will change. – Robin Dobson]

    Robin, I was able to listen to Rick’s interview online with no problems at all. You may need to download the Real Player program, but it is well worth the time – nearly an hour of Rick going into detail about his work with Pink Floyd, up to the tour with David, a few songs thrown in for good measure. No disappointments!

    Bill C

  18. [I was disappointed that Richard Wright’s last radio interview was not available for U.S. listeners. Hopefully, that will change. – Robin Dobson]


    If you are referring to the BBC interview FEd posted about a week or so ago, I listened to it – I’m in Kentucky. I had some trouble getting it as the 1st button you click on takes you to an Eric Clapton concert (?).

    I think if you go to the schedule and click as is scrolls across you will get it, if it is still available. You might also try some of the Pink Floyd fansites, I bet you’d find it there. I won’t mention any by name, I don’t know if that is “legal” on the blog. Good luck.


  19. The price is high but it’s magnificent.

    But why I play drums and not the guitar? 🙁

    Bye Bye.

  20. Thanks for the blog entry FED! Greatly appreciated!

    I wish I could have taken a better picture, though. I don’t look anywhere near as excited as I should have!!!!

  21. Taki…why are you concerned about re-fretting? It ‘s no different than any Strat.

    The short arm is comfortable. BTW, all you need is a hack-saw, vice for bending and a pic of Dave’s guitar to copy and you-too can have a short tremolo. They are great and I have one on each of my Strats.

    I’m all about that case though. Beautiful!

    I am also curious what the opinions are @ the EA cables. My whole rig is EA cables now and they are AMAZING!!!! They are so quiet and ‘punchy’. I love them!

    Congrats Gipey and Johnnie. I’m very jealous!

    Blake in Nashville

  22. Very nice. Did you go straight to a diner to celebrate?

    Curiously the signature black Strat featured on the 3rd (and best) episode of The History of the Guitar on the Beeb yesterday.

    David featured along with a fine list of guitar heroes but showed some puzzlement that:

    (a) people would wish to own a replica roughed-up black Strat,
    (b) people would want to listen to hour after hour of him playing guitar solos.

    Now, we have come to expect modesty from our man but does he not read this site? He has clearly only scratched the surface of our obsession!

  23. To Johnnie and/or George: could you post some close-up pictures of the tremolo, especially from the side, so that we/I could see its bridge set up?

    Another question I have regarding Gilmourish bendings: is there a noteworthy difference to “normal” Strats?

    Best regards,

  24. I ordered my Strat last Tuesday, and I`m supposed to be collecting it this Thursday. The anticipation is killing me!

    But I`m also a little concerned that all the extras that come with the guitar will not be in the case, as I`m aware that the dealers are prone to keep such goodies for themselves!

    I hope I`m wrong and I`ll keep you posted.

    Cheers all,

  25. Wow, Irene. I had no idea that corporations had that kind of control over seed. It’s unconscionable, and there ought to be regulations against cornering a market like that. Thank you for letting us know that this kind of thing is going on.

    Video killed the radio star, but it looks like big business is killing the small farm.

  26. Nice Strat, I wish I had the cash to pick one up, I doubt for that money I would ever play it however.

    Off topic: PLEASE FEd, no more re-re-releases of material we already have… This is in regards to the session material from the 5 disc set. How many times will we have to pay for them?

    I wanted the 5 disc set but am very disappointed by the amount of material that has already been released 2 times or more. It would have been a lot better to include more jam footage than the already released session material.

    I am willing to bet 90% of the buyers of the 5 disc set already had RTN (SD and HD versions) and had no need for the same stuff that is on that to be included in the 5 disc set.

    Why the need to keep offering the same stuff? Surely it could have been switched with something new?

    I’m not one who really likes to complain, but please… stop the re-release of material! His fanbase that visits here will most likely agree.


    [Noted (although it’s not my decision, of course). – FEd]

  27. My neck is wound in. 🙂

    Johnnie – with regard to my posting on the poverty thread, I humbly apologise. Bad day, etc, etc.

    The problem with blogs like this, as opposed to a regular forum, is that our comments are usually aired in the most recently active thread. So, seeing as there wasn’t a DG Strat thread, it makes perfect sense that you shared your news with us on the live thread which, unfortunately, happened to be about poverty. More of an issue with coincidence, and most definitely not intended as an aspersion relating to insensitivity on your part. I agree that my post did read that way, but it genuinely wasn’t my intention.

    Anyway, the guitar is stunning Johnnie. I dropped into our nearest Custom Shop dealer at the tail end of last week as I was in the area, hoping that they’d have one in stock for me to have a play with. They didn’t – or at least didn’t let on that they did. 🙁

    Are the trem arm and block Callaham items as was originally thought?


  28. [Taki…why are you concerned about re-fretting? It ‘s no different than any Strat. – blake from nashville ]

    That was meant as a joke, since I imagine that Johnnie won’t stop playing it. 😉

    I agree with the short tremolo arm. The bigger your hands are, the more comfortable it is, since it leaves you more space.


  29. Way to go Johnnie and George and soon, Adrian.

    One of these days I’ll venture out and try one for a taste and feel of Blackie.

  30. Ladies with Black Strats,

    Any thoughts on the string gauge? Will you keep it at David’s gauge or change to a regular set?

  31. [How many times will we have to pay for them? – Greg]

    Who exactly is ‘making’ you pay for them?

    If you don’t want to pay for them then don’t buy them, simple.

  32. Nice one Johnnie.

    I’ve saved the guitar picture, thanks.

    Is it a NOS or relic? Looking at the photo I’d guess a NOS.

    I’m still negotiating with the boss about a relic, I can’t play, I would like to put it behind glass and hang it above the piano, negotiations are continuing.

    FEd, any chance of getting a heads up on what’s in the sealed envelope in my “Live in Gdansk” set.


    [Some photos, a postcard, a replica laminate and ticket, a backstage pass and a guitar pick/plectrum. – FEd]

  33. Nice one Johnnie. Hope you enjoy it to its fullest extent.

    My feelings are telling me to go out and buy one too.
    But then my rationale kicks in telling me I don’t play quite well and often enough to account for such a fine quality instrument.

    In Dutch we say “parels voor de zwijnen”; literally translated that would be “pearls for the pigs”.


  34. [PLEASE FEd, no more re-re-releases of material we already have… -Greg]

    Most of the material was not earlier released, I’m extremely happy that David decided to include the rest of the Mermaid Theatre (SOYCD, WTIO, CN, well, it was available on the internet, but still it is better to have it on DVD), there was no Live from Abbey Road broadcast in Poland so I’m also grateful that “The Blue” and “Take A Breath” were added.

    The only material which was previously released is On An Island and High Hopes from the AOL Sessions, which can be found on the Live and In Session limited edition On An Island (which probably is better edited here, have not seen, I hope this coming Monday, Deluxe will occur in Polish shops at last), which many fans did not buy earlier.

    Acoustic Echoes were hidden extra on RTN, but I am still happy that it is included here, particularly on vinyl.

    You probably exaggerated with your comment, it sounded as if you had found the whole RTN DVD in your box. Yes, we can complain that the Mermaid was not placed somewhere in full, but if I ask myself was it good that there were SOYCD, WTIO and CN here, the answer is yes, the same with Live from Abbey Road footage.

  35. Glad to see some folks have -(angels singing)- The Black Strat.

    I have one question- can you make it sing? ;P

    Hey FEd, how about the possibility of a place that the proud new Strat owners can share sound clips?

    Have a great day, all.

    [You’d have to ask DG Management about that. – FEd]

  36. Angelo, you are welcome to visit and give the Strat a try!

    I have to say that the experience of sharing this guitar with my musician AND non-musician friends has been great. Everyone loves the feel and sound of it. That has been one of the best parts of getting it.

    I have always been weird about people touching my gear, but I feel compelled to share the goodness, maybe because of it’s iconic nature.

    A few were scared to touch it, since it is an NOS, and I have it shined up nicely…

  37. [Who exactly is ‘making’ you pay for them? If you don’t want to pay for them then don’t buy them, simple. – VeronicaUK]

    Correct, I was not forced into buying it, however as a fan, I wanted to buy it but would have preferred to get new material instead of already released material.

    I really enjoy the Gdansk, and didn’t mean any ill will with my comments, however I am growing tired of record labels pushing material that is already available.

    My whole point was it would have been nice to have more barn jams or something not already released previously.

    All in all I am quite happy with the 5 disc set and feel the money was well spent… the A/V quality is far better the RTN…

    Fed, any news if Gdansk will get the Blu-ray treatment?

    [Apparently, there are no plans for a Blu-ray version. – FEd]

  38. To answer some questions:

    The string gauges are nice – very comfortable for me.

    The cable is AWESOME though. I don’t know if it is the guitar or the cable, but something is making a huge difference in the clarity of sound. It’s like someone took a wet blanket off my amplifier! I’m very impressed so far!

    The whammy bar is cool, but I have had a half cut whammy bar for about a year now, so it is very comfortable for me and was easy to adjust.


    I ordered my NOS Gilmour Signature Stratocaster more than a month ago and I am still waiting.

    I don’t know why in the USA it was available from the 22 of September and here in Italy we have to be so patient…

    Anyway congratulations for your axe!


  40. [Apparently, there are no plans for a Blu-ray version. – FEd]

    So that means there will be a Blu-ray version, LOL!

    [With my fan hat on, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there is one somewhere down the line. With my professional hat on, there are no plans for a Blu-ray version. – FEd]

  41. Today I sent Fender an email asking them why I did not receive a signed copy of the black Strat book. I’ll let you know what they have to say when I get a reply.

    Thanks FED!

    [Good to hear, Johnnie. Thanks. – FEd]

  42. The only way I’d fork out the 6000 US dollars for the guitar is if David handed to me himself. It looks amazing, don’t get me wrong.

    I have a Jeff Beck Strat that is amazing, but it was only 1200…

    You should not have to be rich to enjoy something like this… I am truly happy that Fender got it right and made this gem public.

    I hope the price comes down for the average consumer.

  43. So, after weeks of waiting, and then a further month of being late, Fender have finally sent me my very own DG Relic Strat.

    It arrived at Charlie Chandler’s today and he very kindly cabbed it over to me after he did a little bit of fettling work on its action. He did remark how much it sounded like the real one (Charlie put DG’s maple vintage neck on it years ago) although in his opinion it was ‘just alright’ as far as Strats go…but he also mentioned the original is nothing special either.

    I have to say Fender have got a lot of things very right on this. Firstly, it DOES truly sound like the real thing; the bridge pick up is simply immense and for those that cannot afford the guitar do try and track down one of the Seymour Duncan single coils that are fitted to it- superb. Straight out of the box and plugged in and straight into instant Comfortably Numb, followed by even more authentic Shine on! The sound is very, very authentic and that is indeed the best part of this guitar.

    There’s a lovely balance in output from the top E to the bottom E which really comes through when playing the open lick in Shine on.

    Frets are very thin vintage, but the neck is fabulous – I was a little disappointed they were not going for a V shape on it – however the C profile is very thin and very flat- perfect for those coruscating perfect 5th bends…. The finish, the dings, the attention to detail is superb- even down to a shade of wine red showing through under the black re-finish!

  44. …I’m not quite sure which way the mini switch works- but with it in the up position you get the Gilmour sound. And the other astounding thing is its weight- it’s featherlight, one of the lightest strats I have ever played and even lighter than my original 1956.

    A few moans though- I did not get the free Gdansk DVD that was promised. That is annoying. And the shortened trem arm is simply too short to use.

    Charlie had pre-empted this and put another one in, which I will customise for me when I get around to it.

    All the other goodies, such as the Black Strat book, I have left sealed up and I do think it is a shame that despite putting a nice strap in, that they didn’t get some Hendrix straps copied, together with some Grolsh washers! For all the attention to detail elsewhere, that smells of thrift and Fender could do better on that one. I also understood they were all to be ‘master built’ in the Custom Shop- well there is no provenance to substantiate this or who built it, again disappointing.

    I also think that the Custom Shop should learn how to set up a trem spring system to make banding easy – they’ve gone for the three springs to the middle of the claw option – not the best way in my experience – I favour balancing the springs to the strings and having two springs on the bass side and one on the treble – makes big bends so much easier, but equally, if playing country style bend and picks, this puts the higher picked sting out of tune, so you pays yer money and takes yer choice. I know what I prefer…

  45. …All in all, it’s nothing more than I expected and nothing less in terms of appearance. In terms of sound, it’s spot on (that’s why you buy one I guess!) and better than I thought.

    In terms of value for money I do think Fender could have gone that little bit further as noted above and I am highly annoyed that the DVD is not in the case.

    Sounds: 9.5
    Visually: 9
    Value for Money: 6
    Build: 9
    Set up: 6
    Extras: 4

    [The only way I’d fork out the 6000 US dollars for the guitar is if David handed to me himself. It looks amazing, don’t get me wrong… I hope the price comes down for the average consumer. – Ryan]


    Just a little point- I personally hope the price goes up and that they discontinue it as soon as possible! But that’s because I have one and I want to protect my investment.

    Incidentally, my book IS signed, but no bloody DVD.


    [Thanks for sharing your thoughts, James. Much appreciated. I’m sorry about the DVD. – FEd]

  46. FEd

    Thanks for collating those posts and stitching them back in order- appreciated.

    What should I do about my DVD?

    [Please contact Fender and ask them to send one on immediately. You might like to tell them that someone else’s book hadn’t been signed and mention that all the details are at David’s official blog. – FEd]

  47. What is the word about Live in Gdansk, still going strong, he can’t drop out now, at his best. Looking forward to many amazing concerts. High hopes to hear David do his riffs.

    Never too old to be a fan…..
    Michael Norway

  48. Hi FEd.

    I bought the Black Start (Relic) at Manny’s but unfortunately my book isn’t signed. 🙁

    What should I do?


    PS: BTW, the guitar is just amazing.

    [Complain to Fender, tell them that you want a signed copy immediately and let us know what they say. You might also want to add that there have been similar comments posted at David’s blog (book not signed, CD/DVD missing). Good luck… and happy playing. – FEd]

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