A true icon. You know you need one.
Fender has just launched its Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster (as distinct from the somewhat cheaper Ritchie Blackmore Signature Strat). It’s a faithful, scratches and all, reproduction of a black 1968 Fender Stratocaster of the type that Blackmore used to write and record Smoke On The water (and presumably much of the Machine Head album).
Interestingly, Fender don’t say its a replica of the actual guitar but it is still hugely iconic.
I was never really fan of those large headstock “seventies” strats and at a list price of $8,000 versus $1,519.99 for the signature model, I think I’d be more tempted by the latter. Still a big-head seventies model, the Signature features Blackmore’s trademark scalloped, rosewood fretboard, the dummy middle pickup and is in Olympic white. All in all, its the guitar I associate more with Rainbow-era Blackmore which was when I first discovered the man in black.
That said, play the video below and tell me you don’t just fall in love with that tone…
What next, though? The Layla tobacco sunburst Clapton strat? The Star Spangled Banner white Hendrix strat? Having near exhausted the Artist and Signature theme, there is a vastly larger back catalogue of famous track Tribute guitars to be sold.