Duane Allman’s 1960s Fender Stratocaster

Duane used this guitar while working as a session guitarist at Quinvy Recording Studio, Sheffield, FAME Recording Studios, Muscle Shoals, Fred Be(a)vis Recording Studio, later renamed Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, Sheffield and Atlantic Recording Studios in Manhattan – collaborating with artists such as Wilson Pickett, King Curtis, and Aretha Franklin.

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The guitar was most likely a direct successor/replacement of the Fender Telecaster that Duane played in Allman Joys and Hour Glass. First photos of Duane with this Stratocaster date back to around April of 1968, when Hour Glass was doing their short mid-west “Power of Love” tour, which is also around the same time when he stopped using his Fender Telecaster with a Stratocaster neck fitted on it.

The Black Pickguard

In the photos dating back to the Hour Glass era, Duane’s Strat featured a white pickguard and pickup covers. Sometime in 1968 (somewhere between July and November) he painted them both black, – as can be seen in the photos taken at Muscle Shoals.

It is also apparent that the pieces were indeed painted and not simply replaced, as there are visible white patches showing underneath the black surface between the bridge and middle pickup. Duane also painted a red scorpion on the pickguard, as that was his horoscope sign.

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It’s also apparent from the photos that this is likely a 1966 or a 1967 model, based on the large headstock, and the fact that a logo with a black outline, as opposed to black lettering which was used on models made later, around 1968.

The Guitar Today

Unfortunately, it’s unknown what happened to the guitar after Duane stopped using it. It is possible that he swapped it for another instrument, as he was starting to gravitate more towards Gibsons at that time. If you happen to know anything please be sure to leave a comment.


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Paul Gagne
Paul Gagne
1 year ago

Thanks for this post. Painted plastic parts indeed, black Strat pickguards were only available from 1975 and black pickup covers/knobs from 1976.