The story of the Fender Rosewood Stratocaster that never made it to Jimi Hendrix

Fender Rosewood Stratocaster
(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

As the ’60s became ever-more wild and psychedelic, Fender decided to see if prototype instruments in special finishes could help them tap into a market that had gone from all-American surf groups who thought custom colours were pretty far-out to LSD-taking hippies exploring the outer limits of the human psyche.

An easier way to tap into pop-culture movements was to make guitars for famous artists, of course – and, as the 1970s approached, none were more famous than George Harrison of The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. Most people know that Fender made a rosewood Telecaster for Harrison, but fewer people know that two rosewood Strats were also made, one of which was intended for Jimi Hendrix. 

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.