Eric Clapton’s 1980s Fender Stratocaster Elite
This is the last of the seven guitars seen in a photograph taken in 1985 at Yoyogi Olympic Pool, Tokyo [Eric Clapton’s guitars – GettyImages], showing a collection of Eric’s tour guitars. According to Tom Wheeler’s The Stratocaster Chronicles book [The Stratocaster Chronicles: Celebrating 50 Years of the Fender Strat, Tom Wheeler, p.222], Clapton was given a couple of Elite Stratocasters in April 1985. At this time the talk about the Eric Clapton Signature model began between him and Fender, and these Elite Strats served as a blueprint.
The only Strats left (during the factory closure) were some non-trem Elites, which he asked to test before he would sign them for the promo. They had Alnico 3 pickups, a dummy coil, a YBX tone control, and the MDX midrange boost. Eric liked how it sounded.[The Stratocaster Chronicles: Celebrating 50 Years of the Fender Strat, Tom Wheeler, p.222
It is also possible that this was not an actual Elite Stratocaster, but one of the earliest prototypes of the Eric Clapton Signature model. Apparently, the first prototypes were built by using a ’57 Strat reissue neck fitted on an Elite Strat body.
Be that as it may, there doesn’t seem to be one single occasion where Eric used the guitar live so it was likely just used in a private setting. If you happen to come across something, leave it in the comments.
GroundGuitar counts on your criticism and feedback. In case you notice anything wrong with the information posted on this page, or you have knowledge of something that you would like to share, be sure to leave a comment below.
If you notice a piece of gear missing, and you wanna add it yourself, you can do so on this page Add Gear to GroundGuitar.
In case you want to talk to me directly and privately, please use the Contact Form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. (Dan)