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Old October 26th, 2013, 07:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Where would the Stratocaster be without Hendrix?

Undoubtedly, Hendrix has played a crucial role in making the Stratocaster one of the most popular instruments of all time. But what would it be without Hendrix? Just as famous? A quirky, forgotten 60s oddity?

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Old October 26th, 2013, 08:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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More or less the same IMO. The Strat was already well embedded as one of the classic guitars (along with the Tele and Les Paul) years before Jimi picked one up.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 08:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I play a strat and one of the first to come to my mind when I think of a strat is Buddy Holly. He probably did more to get it estabilished early than any other player. The list of players is endless.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 08:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry if this is a rock in the pond but why people credit anything "strat" to Hendrix is beyond me. I am one of the schools of thought that opines Mr. Hendrix as a poor player who simply used loud amps to hide bad playing. Please don't respond aggressively but that's just my opinion. Oh, and I sha'nt be replying to any bullets.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 08:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry if this is a rock in the pond but why people credit anything "strat" to Hendrix is beyond me. I am one of the schools of thought that opines Mr. Hendrix as a poor player who simply used loud amps to hide bad playing. Please don't respond aggressively but that's just my opinion. Oh, and I sha'nt be replying to any bullets.
As someone else on this side of the pond, I associate Strats with the Shadows.

They were never off the telly when I was a kid, and Hank Marvin's Strat (I didn't know what colour it was because colour TV didn't arrive in the UK until the late 60s, and didn't arrive at our house until much later) looked better than all the other boring 'based on an acoustic guitar' shaped instruments.

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Old October 26th, 2013, 08:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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While I agree that the strat was already a popular guitar model, is it so crazy to think that jimi may have played a role in securing the axe's spot in rock and roll history? He is arguable one of the most influential players, and lots of people (I know a few personally) have picked up strats for that very reason. I am not saying the strat wouldn't be around without jimi, but he definitely played a part in making it as popular as it is today. How big of a role did he play? That's the question, isn't it?
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Old October 26th, 2013, 08:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hendrix appealed to a niche market; his effect on strat sales pales into comparison with mainstream acts such as Mayer, Gilmour, Marvin, Clapton, Holly and Knopfler.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 08:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm no rock historian but I agree with SamClemons about Buddy Holly being a big help in cementing the strat as an iconic guitar.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 09:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The Strat without Jimi would be Buddy Holly, Dick Dale, Ike Turner, Vic Flick, Hank Marvin, Al Jardine, Bobby Fuller and Ernie Isley. It was well established but, Jimi elevated it.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 09:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Jimi was the reason I started playing guitar and the reason I started playing a strat. I know there was not a lot of rock being played in the black community until Hendrix kicked the door down. I would think he was responsible for a lot of strat sells in that community. Truth is there were not that many black faces on stage at rock concerts or on album covers in the 60's. They were in a niche market.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 09:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If you look at Fender history, after the initial impact of Buddy Holly had faded, the Strat was also fading in popularity. The Jaguar and Jazzmaster were considered "cooler" guitars.

By around 64 and 65 Fender actually LOWERED the price on Strats in an attempt to reenergize lagging sales. I have read in interviews with Fender execs that they actually considered doing away with the Strat line (I would have to look up who said that)

Once Hendrix came on the scene, others like Clapton and Bloomfield also began to play Strats. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Jimi may have actually been responsible for saving the Strat design from oblivion.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 09:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Old October 26th, 2013, 09:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I watched the Woodstock movie again for the 40th anniversary. One thing that struck me is that just about everyone else was playing a Gibson (or an acoustic). I think Canned Heat was the only other band with a Strat.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 09:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I found my 54 Strat in the classified ads in 1968. I knew it was a high quality guitar, but my initial impression was as a country and surf guitar. But I can remember the moment in my mind's eye as a photograph, that after getting it home, opening the case, it hit me that this was what Hendrix was using. For a few years, however, local bands used Gibsons way more than Fenders. In fact, the Tele was seen more than Strats in my neck of the woods. What I really wanted was a Les Paul, which I bought a couple of years later (actually two: I bought a 1969 Gold Top, then weeks later found a 53 Gold Top for $100).

Now, what happened, though, was that the Strat became my go-to guitar. I was playing rock, blues, country, and jazz, and the Strat was more adaptable than the Les Paul.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 10:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think Hendrix was pretty important to the evolution of the Strat - he popularized a whole different approach to playing the guitar as well well his approach to the music. I didn't say he invented anything new - he just popularized it. He likely had more of an impact on the marketing of the Strat than anything.

What he did was just add a huge chunk to the palette of what could be played on the Strat.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Bill View Post
Sorry if this is a rock in the pond but why people credit anything "strat" to Hendrix is beyond me. I am one of the schools of thought that opines Mr. Hendrix as a poor player who simply used loud amps to hide bad playing. Please don't respond aggressively but that's just my opinion. Oh, and I sha'nt be replying to any bullets.
No bullets, just this. Maybe Hendrix didn't "play" the Strat in the sense that guys like Mark Knopfler or a multitude of technically accomplished Strat guys. He made it a part of him. In fact, even the very cream of crop players would probably admit that he and his Strat were "one". That is what made him what many admire and none can duplicate, only imitate. In the end, whether you think him a great player or just a guy who made noise, he holds a place no one else can claim and was a huge influence for me and thousands who play the Stratocaster. And, certainly one of the reasons I have one.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 10:37 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I certainly don't think Jimi elevated the Strat from being a quirky seldom used, seldom thought of niche market instrument to the legendary axe it now is. The Strat was already well established as a landmark solidbody electric guitar and was even MUCH copied well before Jimi ever strapped one on. Jimi just helped make people aware of things that could be done on a Strat that nobody had ever imagined in their wildest dreams. In nearly every single tune he played there was something new or unexpected and innovative.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
If you look at Fender history, after the initial impact of Buddy Holly had faded, the Strat was also fading in popularity. The Jaguar and Jazzmaster were considered "cooler" guitars.

By around 64 and 65 Fender actually LOWERED the price on Strats in an attempt to reenergize lagging sales. I have read in interviews with Fender execs that they actually considered doing away with the Strat line (I would have to look up who said that)

Once Hendrix came on the scene, others like Clapton and Bloomfield also began to play Strats. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Jimi may have actually been responsible for saving the Strat design from oblivion.
For all of you Hendrix naysayers, I think what Rufus says is true. They were going to discontinue the Strat, but the popularity of Hendrix was one of the things that brought it back from the brink of extinction.

From Wikipedia:

""Players first perceived a loss of the initial high quality of Fender guitars after the company was taken over by CBS. As a result, the Stratocaster fell out of fashion in the mid-sixties, to the point where the Fender company (owned by CBS) reduced its price and considered removing it from their production line completely.However, Jimi Hendrix and many other blues-influenced artists of the late '60s soon adopted the Stratocaster as their main instrument, reviving the guitar's popularity. "
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Old October 26th, 2013, 11:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Old October 26th, 2013, 11:02 AM   #20 (permalink)
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... Please don't respond aggressively but that's just my opinion. Oh, and I sha'nt be replying to any bullets.
Reminds me of my first wife, say something outrageous and walk out of the room.
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