A cornerstone of Pink Floyd’s incomparably revolutionary sound, Gilmour’s Black Strat is featured extensively on The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall and his critically acclaimed 2006 solo effort, On An Island. The Fender Custom Shop worked hand-in-hand with Gilmour and his longtime guitar technician, Phil Taylor, to create this signature model, a detailed reproduction of the Black Strat–complete in its unmistakable look, sound and feel.
Gilmour bought the original instrument in May 1970 from Manny’s Music in New York. The guitar’s first Pink Floyd recorded appearance came on the group’s fifth album, Atom Heart Mother. It subsequently became Gilmour’s main guitar for live performances and studio work.
The new reproduction–the David Gilmour Signature Series Stratocaster guitar–features an alder body, black over three-color sunburst finish, a black pickguard, a one-piece straight-grain maple neck, custom pickups and Gilmour’s now-infamous electronics and shortened vintage tremolo arm. Beautiful, powerful, unique and as idiosyncratic as Gilmour’s playing, the guitar will be produced by the Fender Custom Shop in N.O.S. (new old stock) and Relic versions.
The David Gilmour Signature Series Stratocaster guitar comes with a custom case, an Evidence high-end guitar cable, Gilmour’s three-disc Live in Gdansk CD/DVD set and Taylor’s 2007 book about the guitar’s history, The Black Strat. The first 500 guitars sold in either finish option will include a limited edition, signed copy of The Black Strat book, autographed by Phil Taylor.
The guitar has gone through many changes over the years with different necks, pickups and custom features. Years changed though and by the mid 80s David had replaced all his guitars with Fender’s new line of 1957 reissues. The Black Strat was donated to Hard Rock Café were it was on display until 1997. In 2005 Pink Floyd reunited for a last time at the Live 8 show in London’s Hyde Park and the Black Strat made its triumphant return. It’s been David’s main guitar ever since.
The Black Strat – original specs
– Fender 1968-69 alder body with black finish painted over the original sunburst finish.
– Fender late 60’s maple neck with large headstock and 21 frets.
– Fender late 60’s single coil pickups.
– Fender F-style tuning machines.
– 3-ply white pickguard.
– 3-way pickup selector.
– Fender synchronized tremolo bridge with normal size arm.
The Black Strat – current specs
– Fender 1969 alder body with black finish repainted over the original sunburst finish.
– Fender 1983 ‘57 reissue C shape maple neck with maple 7.25″ radius fingerboard and 21 vintage style frets.
– Fender/Gotho vintage style tuning machines.
– 1-ply .120” beveled black acrylic, 11 hole pickguard.
– Fender neck and middle pickups dated 1971 (installed the whole pickguard assembly from a ‘71 bullet truss rod Strat in June 1973) and a Seymour Duncan custom wound SSL-1C bridge pickup (installed late 1979).
– Fender synchronized tremolo bridge (the original bridge re-fitted in 1997).
– 5-way pickup selector (replacing the original 3-way in 1985).
– Custom mini-toggle switch on the pickguard for neck/bridge combo.
– Shortened tremolo arm to 4.25″.
During Pink Floyd’s way back home to the UK after their rig got stolen during their North American tour David visits Manny’s in New York, USA and buys the Black Strat.
The Black Strat makes its debut performance at the Bath festival in the UK in front over 200.000 people.
The Black Strat is featured on Pink Floyd’s legendary concert film Live at Pompeii. The original volume knob was replaced with a Telecaster type silver knob with a rubber band for easier action. This was taken off right after the filming in Pompeii, which resulted in a small continuity error during the “night” footage filmed in Paris, France in December 1971.