David Gilmour’s 1954 Fender Stratocaster #0001
David acquired this guitar in 1978 from his guitar tech Phil Taylor. The guitar is quite a unique one because it has serial number #0001, which would indicate that it was the first production Stratocaster ever made. However, according to David, and based on the research done by the auction house through which the guitar was recently sold, it is an early model, but not the first one.
I don’t think it’s the first one ever made. It’s a 1954 Fender Stratocaster, and they don’t get much better than this. I mean this is about as perfect as a guitar can be.David Gilmour – The Story of the Guitar, BBC, October 2008
The Origin Story
According to the info posted on the auction page of this guitar, this guitar was given by Leo Fender to Rex Robert Gallion around 1955. Rex was a country-western guitarist who was involved in designing the Stratocaster, so the guitar was probably custom-made by the company, and given to him as a present.
Rex apparently traded the guitar in the late 60s, leaving it at a Santa Maria music store called Sousa Music, where it was then bought by Richard Hoxie Green. Richard then wanted to repaint the guitar, and he took the guitar to Seymour Duncan’s shop, who luckily recognized the significance of leaving a guitar like this original, and instead offered another guitar to Richard as a trade.
In 1977 Duncan sold the guitar to Phil Taylor, David Gilmour’s guitar tech. David tried the guitar and he wanted to buy it from Phil initially, but Phil was reluctant at first. Eventually, Taylor wanted to borrow some money, and David jokingly agreed, but only on the condition that he sell him the guitar first.
Eventually, Phil wanted to borrow some money to buy a house, so I blackmailed him! I said the only way I’d lend him the money to buy the house, was if he sold me the white Strat…David Gilmour, Guitar Magazine 1986
This is one of the guitars that David rarely used live, because after all, it is a unique and historically significant guitar. He used it in the studio, most notably on his solo album released in 1978, on the track “Mihalis”, on “Glad to See You Here” for Paul McCartney’s Wings, and to record “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 1)” and the rhythm on “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” from the album The Wall.
The guitar was auctioned through Christie’s in 2019. It sold for $1,815,000, surpassed only by David’s Black Strat, which sold for $3,975,000. In the interviews he did promoting the auction, David reiterated that this was, as far as he is concerned, the perfect Stratocaster.
The perfect Fender Stratocaster, in my opinion, hasn’t been improved on by makers since. I mean, I would still prefer to play this very guitar or one very similar.David GIlmour – BBC 2019.
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