When it was released in 1954, the Fender Stratocaster seemed so far ahead of its time it could have decreased from a traveling saucer.
That impressive design was thanks in part to European move musician, Invoice Carson. Disappointed by what he considered as disadvantages on the earlier Telecaster, Invoice pestered Leo Fender to improve the instrument with system shaping, more pickup trucks and a vibrato unit.
Instead, Leo and his team went back to the illustrating board. Like the Telecaster, Leo’s new instrument had an ash system (alder was presented in 1956) and a bolt-on walnut throat. There the likeness finishes.
The dual cutaway system, put from the ’51 Perfection Bass sounds, was curved for comfort (“It suits better to your system like a well designed clothing,” said Carson) then packed with three single-coil pickup trucks and a modern vibrato, at the same time misnamed as a ‘synchronized tremolo’.
The Strat not only looks the overall paintballs, its immediately recognisable overall tone combines guitar players as different as Friend Mom, spirit tale Curtis Mayfield, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora and Slipknot’s Jim Main.