A Stevie Ray Vaughan stage-played Fender Elite Stratocaster, purchased by Mark Tremonti, goes up for auction

Stevie Ray Vaughan Fender Stratocaster
(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock And Roll)

A Fender Elite Stratocaster, which has been played onstage by blues guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan and owned by metal maestro Mark Tremonti, is set to go up for auction at Gotta Have Rock And Roll.

The bizarre-looking electric guitar, a far cry from the traditional Fender Stratocasters that Vaughan favored throughout his career, is an example of an Elite Strat – a forward-thinking redesign of the six-string that came out in 1983.

Vaughan, who had wielded the quirky six-string for a show in the Palace in 1989, signed, dated and sold the Strat for charity, with the following owner placing it on display at the Rockwalk in Los Angeles.

That was until Creed and Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti came along and purchased the guitar in 2001 – hopefully to play a beef’d-up, chug-heavy version of Pride and Joy – before selling it once more through Carter Vintage Guitars.

Now, the Elite Stratocaster – which has been handled by two of the biggest names in the blues and metal worlds – is up for auction once again, and is estimated to sell for up to $150,000.

Whoever bids the highest will also receive a letter of provenance from the current owner, a number of tags from its time as a Rockwalk exhibit, a James Spence Authentication letter of authenticity and a certificate of authenticity from Gotta Have Rock And Roll.

The high-profile names associated with this Strat isn’t the only thing that makes it unique, however. A quick visual appraisal will reveal just some of the bonkers appointments that the Fender Elite Strat’s spec sheet boasts.

Gone is the five-way selector switch and spring-cover backplate. Instead, the Elite comes equipped with three pickup selector buttons, which introduce a host of unique pickup configuration options – including neck and bridge, and all three single-coils at once.

If that spec sounds familiar, that’s because it was popularized by David Gilmour, who equipped his own Fender Strat with a mini-toggle that could access the aforementioned pickup pairings.

Other unorthodox features found on Vaughan’s Strat include the side-mounted output jack – rather than the usual body-mounted alternative – and a revised, slightly cumbersome vibrato system.

In a recent video, Music Is Win’s Tyler Larson road-tested the unusual six-string and attempted to see if the Strat could succeed in serving up Vaughan's signature sound. Safe to say, it certainly threw up some interesting tones.

The Gotta Have Rock And Roll auction got underway on Wednesday (December 1) and is set to run until December 10.

To find out more, visit Gotta Have Rock And Roll.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.