Fender Custom Shop Announces the Last Waltz Stratocaster®
- Dec 30, 2016
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Honoring influential guitarist Robbie Robertson of The Band, the Fender Custom Shop is proud to present The Last Waltz Stratocaster, an exact replica of the bronzed Stratocaster he used during the historic ‘The Last Waltz’ concert.
The Last Waltz Stratocaster is a rare, unique glimpse into the history of guitar modifications, specifically ones commonly performed in the ‘70s. During this time period there was no such thing as a valuable vintage guitar—there were only “old” guitars that were the perfect platform for experimentation. Pickup swapping, wiring modifications, hardware replacement—nothing was sacred, and everything was tried.
Master Builder Todd Krause replicated this classic instrument as closely as possible to the state it was in when Martin Scorsese filmed the concert. From the NOS tone capacitors and knobs with the same tension as the original, to the airbrushed headplug and “wear beneath the wear” on the neck, every element was reproduced as meticulously and accurately as possible.
Over the course of its life, Robertson modified his guitar to reflect his playing style and personal tastes. The most obvious modification is the instrument’s bronze coating, which was applied “Old World-style”; the guitar was actually dipped into bronze instead of the contemporary process of forming the bronze around it. Not only does this provide a thinner “skin” that doesn’t impede the guitar’s vibrations, it also allows the attractive wood grain to show through the bronze.
The pickup configuration reflects Robertson’s own idiosyncratic style. Originally a die-hard fan of the Telecaster, Robertson discovered the Stratocaster’s middle pickup got in the way of his picking stroke, so he simply replaced it with a left-handed pickup, selected to maintain the correct stagger height, and moved it to the bridge position to create his own HS Strat (possibly the first).