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Stevie Ray Vaughan's "First Wife"

This Friday marks the 20th anniversary of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s untimely death on Aug. 27, 1990. In homage to the legendary blues guitarist, we’ve posted a piece in Fender News, and will be sharing other blogs (like this one) and facebook updates throughout the week.

Stevie Ray Vaughan once referred to his ’59 Fender Rosewood Stratocaster as his “first wife,” saying, “I can’t leave her.” According to the September 1983 edition of Guitar World, reposted here, SRV found his main axe at a guitar shop in Dallas in 1973.

“I walked into this guitar store carrying my ’63 Strat,” he recalled. “And I saw this other Strat hanging in the window. I just had to have it — I hadn’t even played it, but I knew by the way it looked it sounded great — and I asked if they wanted to trade.”

Vaughan was never sure of the guitar’s true vintage.

“It was officially put out in 1962, but the neck is stamped ’59,” he explained in the article. “When I got it, there was a sticker under the bass pickup that read ‘L.F. 59.’ So I think Leo Fender put it together with spare parts and issued it in ’62. But it doesn’t really matter to me; all I know is that I’ve never found another one that sounds like it.”

Vaughan was especially fond of the guitar’s neck, which he said was “shaped differently from most others. It’s a D-neck, but it’s oddly shaped — it’s real, real big, and fits my hand like a glove.”

Stevie Ray Vaughan collaborated with Fender to produce a signature Stratocaster guitar loosely based on his “first wife” shortly before his t death in 1990. The resulting Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster features an early ’60s “oval” neck shape, pao ferro fingerboard with jumbo frets, three Fender Texas Special™ single-coil pickups, gold-plated hardware, inverted left-hand vintage tremolo unit and distinctive “SRV” pickguard. Our homage to a true master.

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