Guitars That Got Away
1963 Fender Stratocaster
Stunning Flamed Maple NEck
My main guitar for live gigging
My first ever visit to San Francisco was in December of 1981 and I was, as ever, keen to visit the guitar shops in town to see what they had in the way of vintage Fender guitars. I saw this clearly refinished 1963 Fender Stratocaster which looked great as the white paint was more of a vintage ‘off’ white and the tortoise shell pickguard was a great combination. The price tag was US$950 which was within the budget I had with me and so I asked to have a play.
It was then I saw the guitars greatest feature, the neck. Not only was it a nice fat shape, and really comfortable to play, it also had the most amazing flame I had ever seen on a vintage Fender guitar. I did not care that it had been refinished on the body and the neck, it was just too good looking to ignore. I also recall it had one of the pickups either replaced or rewound, but there was something about the sound of this guitar that made it a real player.
At the time I bought this, I had the 1956 Fender Stratocaster that I had uncovered in a garage in Ashfield, but this 1963 Strat replaced it as my main guitar while I was working in bands around the Sydney club circuit. I was using a 1964 Fender Bandmaster in white Tolex that sounded amazing flat out on 10 and with this guitar, it was a very fat sound. I used the 1956 Strat as my backup for when I broke a string on this guitar, which I did every night.
At some point once again, I offloaded it through Alan Rigg at Rock Repairs in Neutral Bay on the lower north shore of Sydney. If memory serves me correctly, I got around AUD$1,100-1,200 for it. Last I heard the guy that bought still has it and I do not blame him one bit, I should have kept it.
Serial Number: 84445
Neck Date: Unknown
Body Date: Unknown
Pickup Date: UNKNOWN
Pot Date: UNKNOWN