Bob Marley’s 1962 Fender Stratocaster (White)
Marley was seen playing a white Fender Stratocaster in a few photos from 1973, all of which seem to be originating from Paul’s Mall gig from July 1973 – which was Marley’s first performance in the United States.
Photos of Marley with the guitar can be seen on the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s website.
Based on the small headstock and the “spaghetti” Fender logo, this was an early 60s Stratocaster. Stratocasters made during this period, from around 1954 to 1964 are considered to be the best guitars that Fenders ever produced. A lot of well-known guitar players favor these models, among them Jimi Hendrix, whose 1964 Fender Stratocaster was the only guitar he had with him when he traveled over to the UK in 1966.
Marley’s guitar was likely a 1962 model, based on two things, the first of which is the layout of the screws on the pickguard. In early 1963, Fender changed the position of the screw between the neck and middle pickup, so it was moved about 1/2″ towards the middle pickup. Bob Marley’s Strat has the old layout before this change.
The second thing is the veneer fretboard. In late 1962 Fender started using thinner pieces of rosewood for fretboards, which became known as “veneer” fretboards, as opposed to thicker “slab” fretboards that were used on earlier models.
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