Nile Rodgers is known as one of the most decorated musicians in the history of music, with his name appearing in the credits of countless smash hits.
His work on tunes like “Le Freak” and “Good Times” from the band he co-founded in the 1970s Chic, David Bowie’s best-selling 1983 album “Let’s Dance,” and more recently, Daft Punk’s chart-busting single “Get Lucky” have him rightfully positioned on the Mt. Rushmore of pop guitarists.
And if you ask Rodgers about the tools of his trade, the conversation will undoubtedly turn back to the infamous “Hitmaker,” a 1960 Stratocaster with a 1959 neck that he found in a Miami pawn shop in 1973. For those unconvinced about the power of the Hitmaker, it is estimated that Rodgers has made over $2 billion worth of music since acquiring the legendary guitar.
The Fender Custom Shop worked closely with Rodgers to create a limited-edition signature model of the iconic Strat, nailing down the iconic Strat’s most minute details. Seeing this project finally come to light at the 2014 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif., Rodgers is amazed that he fortuitously struck gold four decades ago.
“I feel like I’m the most fortunate recipient of this incredible accident; this chain of events,” Rodgers said in an interview with Fender.com. “I could have gone to a different pawn shop. I could have seen another instrument in the window. This was probably the cheapest Strat in the place, and maybe the only one with a maple neck. I don’t honestly remember the circumstances because I wasn’t Strat-savvy at all. I just wanted a Fender Stratocaster. Who would have thought? I mean, talk about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Who would ever thought in a million years that I’d get something so unbelievably unique and special?”
To see Rodgers play the Hitmaker — and explain how he originally came up with Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” – watch the Fender exclusive video below.