Classic gear: 1970s Fender Stratocasters

1973 Fender Stratocaster Candy Apple Red
(Image credit: Richard Ecclestone/Redferns)

The 1970s didn’t get off to a great start as far as the guitar world goes. Jimi Hendrix died, The Beatles split then both Peter Green and Eric Clapton went AWOL. Meanwhile, over the pond at Fender, the old guard continued to file out following the sale of the company to CBS in 1965.

During 1970 – just months after his business partner Don Randall threw the towel in – Leo Fender cut all ties with the brand he started back in 1946. It was officially the end of Fender’s ‘golden era’. Nevertheless, the Stratocaster was experiencing unprecedented demand, bolstered by the influence of Hendrix. 

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Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.