Unless you were hiding in a hole yesterday you probably caught mention of Fender’s latest press release announcing the upcoming debut (slated for November) of their new Limited Edition Custom Shop recreation of Eric Clapton’s iconic black Stratocaster –– affectionately known as Blackie.
The ‘Blackie’ replica, which is part of Fender’s Tribute Series of guitars, is based on Clapton’s mainstay instrument throughout the 70’s & 80’s––a Fender Strat from the mid-50’s that Clapton apparently pieced together on his own with parts from various other guitars. Clapton went on to use the guitar on many of his most popular recordings, and of course the instrument was a constant companion while touring, as well.
The original ‘Blackie’ was finally auctioned off by Christie’s in 2004, with the highest bidder being Guitar Center, Inc (yep, that Guitar Center,) who bought the guitar for just under one million dollars (with proceeds to benefit Clapton’s Crossroads Centre, Antigua charity.)
The new Custom Shop ‘Blackie’ will be available exclusively through Guitar Center, and with an incredibly limited run of just 185 instruments in the United States it’s expected to sell for a whopping $24,000. According to Fender’s Press Release––
This historic addition to the Custom Shop Tribute Series will replicate BLACKIE® down to the smallest of details—from the worn-to-the-wood body, to the neck re-shaped by Eric’s hand as he played a thousand heartfelt solos, to the unmistakable cigarette burns on the headstock.
Fender is apparently taking this release very seriously, as they’ve already created an ‘Official’ Blackie page on their website (good find, Khriz,) including a rather dramatic countdown ticker to tick off the days until Blackie’s appearance in stores (dubbed “Black Friday,” Nov. 24th, 2006.)
And who can blame them––at $24,000, and with Eric Clapton’s name attached, the guitar is bound to make a big media splash, though it really does beg the question: exactly who is this guitar aimed at? As an average guy, with an average income, I really have to wonder who it is that buys these “pre-determined” collector’s items.
But hey, it’s all for a good cause… a portion of the proceeds is slated to go to the Crossroads Centre, Antigua charity.