Artist: The Crickets
Album: The "Chirping" Crickets
Guitarist: Buddy Holly
On Dec. 1, many get their first glimpse of a Stratocaster when a rock ’n’ roll trio called the Crickets performs on The Ed Sullivan Show. The Crickets’ leader is a bespectacled young Texan named Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holly.
Artist: Derek and the Dominos
Album: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
Guitarist: Eric Clapton
The members of Deep Purple watch as fire destroys the Montreux Casino on Dec. 4 of this year. Inspired by the “fire in the sky” and the smoke drifting over the lake, the band composes 1972 proto-metal classic “Smoke on the Water,” for which guitarist Ritchie Blackmore creates the most imitated Stratocaster riff ever.
No other electric guitar is more elegantly versatile. No other guitar is more easily modified into a statement of personal creativity. No other guitar lets you sound like yourself more. No other guitar has that tone.
Artist: Pink Floyd
Album: The Wall
Guitarist: David Gilmour
Kurt Cobain records a great deal of industry-changing Nirvana juggernaut Nevermind, released in September of this year, using a Stratocaster. Thus, the same guitar behind the foot-tapping sound of 1957’s “Peggy Sue” is also behind the intensely aggressive sound of the biggest rock phenomena of the modern era, grunge and alt-indie.
NO OTHER GUITAR IN THE UNIVERSE DOES WHAT THE STRAT CAN DO. JEFF BECK
Artist: David Bowie
Album: Let's Dance
Guitarist: Stevie Ray Vaughan
Album: The Joshua Tree
Guitarist: The Edge
U2’s fifth studio album, The Joshua Tree is released in March of this year. A cinematic-sounding Stratocaster tour de force by guitarist David “Edge” Evans, it features hits including “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “In God’s Country” and epically ringing concert favorite “Where the Streets Have No Name.”
The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication is released in June. It marks the return of Stratocaster-wielding guitarist John Frusciante and remains the band’s most successful studio album, with hits including the title track, “Scar Tissue” and “Otherside.”
The Stratocaster turns 50.
On Nov. 17 of this year, a Stratocaster autographed by a host of rock stars commands the highest figure ever paid at auction for a guitar. At the “Reach Out to Asia” charity auction at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Doha, Qatar, the Arctic White Standard series Stratocaster, signed by Bryan Adams, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Ray Davies, Liam and Noel Gallagher, David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Mick Jagger, Mark Knopfler, Brian May, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Sting, Pete Townshend, Ronnie Wood, and Angus and Malcolm Young, fetches $2.7 million.
"’Til Summer Comes Around"
Artist: Keith Urban
Album: Defying Gravity
Guitarist: Keith Urban
"Waiting on the World to Change"
Artist: John Mayer
Guitarist: John Mayer
John Mayer wields a Stratocaster with marvelous aplomb on third studio album Continuum, which yields a handful of hits including this sweetly grooving millennial anthem. Unlike previous Mayer studio efforts, Continuum leans heavily on blues and soul, transforming the onetime heartfelt pop-rock balladeer to genuine SRV-influenced Strat hero for a new generation.