Joe Walsh’s All-Rosewood Neck Stratocaster


Joe Walsh has often been seen with this instrument. It has toured with him and the Eagles, and perhaps most infamously, was his guitar of choice for the “Strat Pack” concert at Wembley, an event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stratocaster in 2004.

Rumours about this Strat abound on the internet, but Alan Rogan, guitar tech to Joe, Pete Townshend, George Harrison, and the Rolling Stones among many, was stage manager for the Strat Pack concert, and gave an interview to Guitar and Bass Classics magazine, where the had this to say about the Strat:

“Joe likes the sound that rosewood gives… It’s very different from the usual maple. It’s really hard, so I had it refretted with Joe’s preferred frets, which are higher than normal so he can get under the string.

At first we had the neck on a ’54 reissue body, but now he’s put it on an Eric Clapton body and it’ll probably stay there, because it’s really working out. It’s from the Fender custom shop, and the pickups are noiseless.”

So there you are. For those still wondering about the origin of the instrument, it is a Rosewood neck from a ’54 reissue (something like the one pictured below), on a Clapton body.

Rosewood Neck Jason Smith MB full casevlcsnap-2017-08-20-22h05m11s164


Pete Townshend Strat Update!

sjm-l-oslsun-0813-18You don’t have to go any further than this very blog to know Pete changes his stage setup frequently, but recent times have brought a simple, unusual change to Pete’s stage guitars.

At the Outside Lands festival (perhaps earlier), Pete was sporting a series of his usual Strats, with a new feature.

Above the piezo volume knob behind the trem system, his Strats now feature an emory board, on which Pete can be seen sharpening his pick during the set!



Mark Knopfler’s Pre-CBS White 1964 Fender Stratocaster


One of the benefits of being one of the best selling songwriters, not to mention most famous and idiosyncratic guitarists, of the last hundred years is that Mark Knopfler has his pick of vintage instruments.

This is his white Strat. A 1964 Fender, in “too-good-to-be-true” condition.


This Strat toured with him on the Sailing to Philadelphia tour in 2001, being used for different songs at different times, and was one of the principal instruments in the recording of that album. It can be heard playing the lead parts in both the title track and “The Last Laugh” on the record.


For the more recent “Tracker” album, the guitar was set up for slide for the song “Lights of Taormina”


Note the cheeky “Money for Nothing” reference in the design on Mark’s slide!

Apart from it’s clean appearance, the most interesting detail on this guitar would appear to be the small ‘catch’ which has been installed on the pickup selector switch.


One would assume the switch is still the original 3-way selector, and this small ‘catch’ is to hold it in the in-between bridge/middle position.

To hear Mark talk about this guitar, check out the mini-documentary “Tracker: A Track By Track” on YouTube!


Roger Waters’ Black Fender Stratocaster


During the “Us and Them” Tour, Roger has been playing what appears to be a vintage Fender Stratocaster on a few tracks. There isn’t much information online, but it’s clearly a well-worn instrument, which if it’s a genuine Fender, suggests either a custom shop model or a real vintage instrument. There doesn’t seem to be a CS logo in pictures, so my bet would be on the latter.


The small headstock and Transition logo suggest a 60’s instrument, earlier than the large headstock came in (very late ’65). To my knowledge, Fender don’t produce anything like this guitar at the moment.



UPDATE 10/10/2017

Gus Seyfert, who worked on “Is This The Life We Really Want”, and toured on the “Us and Them” tour with Roger, often posts gear pictures on his Instagram page.

It would seem that both this Stratocaster and the interesting bass I posted about a little while ago belong to him.


Roger Waters studio bass*

IF you are enough of a Roger Waters fan to be reading this filler post, you might want to head over to @deadskinboy on instagram and follow his profile. He often posts fantastic, intimate and detailed pictures of Roger, which I gather he takes himself.


I wont post too much from his account, because it’s not mine to use, but he did post an image recently which piqued my interest, which I thought I’d share.


This is Roger, apparently in the studio, playing a bass which has been previously unseen in connection with him. No reason to assume it’s his, but for a gearhead, it’s certainly an interesting change. Perhaps he is taking a step away from the sound of the Duncan quarter-pounders in his original Precision, or perhaps this is an occasion of convenience. Time will tell!

Mike Oldfield’s Pink Fender Stratocaster

strat_1961_1Frequently spoken of by the man as his favourite guitar, Mike Oldfield owned this Strat from 1984 to 2007.

It is a 1963 Strat, serial number L08044, in fiesta red (visibly a very pink looking red, perhaps due to finish fading, perhaps due to a non-factory refinish either before or after original sale) over sunburst. During the time it was owned by Mike, it was used on 15 albums, and consistently for live work and music videos as well.

Mike has been known to use modified guitars (his 1959 sunburst Strat has an extra two way switch between the original pickup selector switch and the middle tone, a common mod for extra pickup combinations), But it seems from pictorial evidence that this is a completely stock Stratocaster, with the exception of the fact that the volume knob has apparently been exchanged for one of the tone knobs, perhaps because the numbers have worn off the volume.

It was reportedly last used during rehearsals for the 2006 Night of the Proms in Antwerp (this is borne out by photographs of these rehearsals), before it was sold via Chandler guitars to a fan for 30,000 pounds.

The pictures below are in chronological order, and show that the Strat picked up a little more cosmetic damage while in regular use by Mike. More pictures are available at



“To France” video, 1984


“Tricks of the Light” video, 1984


“Tricks of the Light” video, 1984


“Tubular Bells II” Premiere, 1992


“Tubular Bells II” premiere, 1992


“Tubular Bells III” premiere, 1998


“The Millennium Bell” Premiere, 1999


Night of the Proms rehearsals, 2006


Pete Townshend’s Guitars at Desert Trip


I’ve talked about Pete’s Lace Sensor Stratocasters before, but this year has marked a more substantial change up in his guitars than we’ve seen for about twenty five years!

Gibson recently reissued a Pete Townshend signature Les Paul deluxe, and Pete has been playing one of these onstage, fitted with two Gibson mini-humbuckers and a piezo acoustic pickup.




Even more interesting however, according to the official tour blog, in early September, Pete received some new Strats!

“Pete now has a pair of new Fender Stratocasters made with Gibson “mini-humbucker” pickups, the pickups he used throughout the 1970s. This gives his modern Stratocaster style has a bit more of that old WHO sound. In the olden days, Gibsons were naturally heavier and nastier than Fender guitars, but modern electronics have made Pete’s current Fenders superstrong, and wide-ranging beasts. He has a dozen sounds he gets from just working the guitar itself. He’s also been a proponent of an “acoustic” sound from the guitar; his electric guitars have a special pickup that simulates the strummy sound of an acoustic guitar. He likes to mix the two quite often, and has had this setup for many years now. It’s a unique thing that almost no one else is doing consistently.”*


*You can read the blog at