How Jeff Beck sparked Fender’s first Graffiti Yellow finish – and the Strat Plus design that helped revive its ’90s fortunes

Jeff Beck performs on stage at Karuizawa Prince Hotel Open Air, Nagano, Japan, 1986. He is playing a Fender Stratocaster guitar.
(Image credit: Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)

UK auction house Bonhams has recently listed a 1986 Fender Stratocaster in Graffiti Yellow, previously owned and played by Jeff Beck. It is a guitar that had a key role in a number of Fender’s ’90s innovations – most of them sparked by Beck himself. 

The instrument not only features the first Graffiti Yellow Finish, but also formed the template for the Strat Plus and, on top of that, it was one of the Fender Custom Shop’s earliest builds. 

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Matt Parker
Features Editor,

Matt is Features Editor for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.