date_range 1967

Duane Allman’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster

This Stratocaster was previously owned by Johnny D. Wyker, who mentioned it in an interview with Swampland.com. According to him, Duane got it from him in late 1968 for some hash.

You can believe me when I tell you that that Strat used to be my guitar back in about 1966 or ’67’….me and Duane and Eddie Hinton were sharin’ a small garage apartment in Sheffield, Alabama…later, Duane asked Eddie to sing with what turned out to be The Allman Brothers Band. Me and Duane were sitting around one night, smoking Duane’s hashish and he was playing my Strat – I mean really playing it making magic, he was getting sounds out my guitar that was blowing my mind. It was easy for me to see that Duane had found his Muse and seen his musical matrix, and I was real high and spiritual. Anyway, Duane was smoking on that Strat and I was smoking his hash, and I made an offer to trade him my Strat for the rest of his hash….probably about a 1/2 ounce. [Hallucination Verification – John Wyker and Mighty Field of Vision by Mitch Lopate]

Please note that Johnny D. Wyker is off by one or two years. Duane shared a garage apartment in Sheffield, AL with Johhny Wyker and Eddie Hinton in late 1968 (October – December). During that period, Johnny drove Duane to sessions at FAME in Muscle Shoals because Duane did not have a car at that time. In early 1969 (January – February), Duane moved to the Stokes Cottage on Wilson Lake, and bought a car of his own from Rick Hall (owner of FAME).

Duane gave this Stratocaster to Delaney Bramlett in 1970. He would allegedly often show up with the guitar, which Delaney loved to play when he would jam with Delaney and Bonnie. It was part of the band’s arsenal, sometimes also played by Dickey Betts, as late as February 1970.

It is perhaps important to note that this guitar should not be confused with a similar Stratocaster that Duane was photographed with during Muscle Shoals sessions, as there are obvious visual differences between the two – main being the headstock. The 1961 Fender Stratocaster features a small-sized headstock, while Duane’s Muscle Schals Stratocaster had a larger transition-style headstock. For photos of the second Strat please visit our article about Duane Allman’s 1960s Fender Stratocaster.

This particular Stratocaster remained with Delaney, who later played it at Duane’s funeral on November 1st, 1971. It is currently owned by a private collector, who was very kind to provide some of the info.

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