Jimi Hendrix 1967 Fender Stratocaster (White)
This is the guitar that Jimi switched to from his first 1967 Strat (mentioned a guitar before this one). The second Strat first saw stage light on February 2, 1968 in San Francisco, US. [Jimi Hendrix, backstage at Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, 1968 – Time] In essence, the two guitars were identical, aside from the wear on the old one that by February 1968 became quite extensive (especially around the upper horn of the body). The new guitar did, however, have a small cigarette burn on the headstock, which makes it easier to identify on other concerts.
He used this white Strat for most of 1968, and likely all the way up until the TTG Studio sessions in mid-October that year. Although photos are somewhat scarce, it seems that guitar was played on almost all gigs between February and October, assuming that it was indeed one same guitar, and not a few identical ones. Last photos of Hendrix playing this particular guitar that we’ve been able to find date back to around late October 1968.
Most notable gigs played on this guitar include The Fillmore East on May 10th [Jimi Hendrix performing at the Fillmore East (Photo by Frank Mastropolo/Corbis via Getty Images)] and Miami Pop Festival on May 18th (for a full list of gigs and your own research visit JIMI HENDRIX TIMELINE September 1966 – September 1970). The Miami Pop Strat does not, however, have the cigarette burn on the headstock, so it is possible that that was a different guitar.
Important to note that during this whole period Jimi was also using a few different guitars alongside the white Strat. These include the Les Paul Custom (seen at both Miami Pop and Fillmore East), and an unknown numbers of sunburst Strats that were most likely used for destruction at the end of the set (two of them seen on Miami Pop – one being a hard-tail. See Ken Davidoff’s website for photos from Miami Pop Festival). For the sake of simplicity, and admittedly having no way to properly research all those random Strats, we’ll leave them out of the list for the time being.
Electric Ladyland Sessions
Electric Ladyland was recorded around the same time that Hendrix played this Strat as his main, so it is likely that the guitar ended up being used on the album. More precisely, all the work that was done between April and August 1968 at the Record Plant Studio in New York was probably done on the Strat at least to some extent. This is based on a presumption that Hendrix did, in fact, have a favorite guitar to play on (there must be a reason why he stuck with it basically throughout the whole year), as opposed to him using whatever was available at the time in the studio.
Eddie Kramer does, however, remember Jimi using a white Stratocaster on ‘Voodoo Chile’ so it is likely that the guitar was used on the other tracks as well.
Everyone talks at length about the bold new sounds Jimi created on Electric Ladyland, but you also captured some incredible straightforward guitar tones and performances from him, like on “Voodoo Chile.” I remember that Jimi played a white Fender Stratocaster on that song. Surprisingly, the amp he used on that song was not a Marshall stack. It was actually a Fender Showman top with a huge cabinet with eight 10-inch speakers in it. You can hear it rumbling around on the floor of the Record Plant when you listen to the beginning of the song. He’s standing right in front of the amp and singing into the microphone, which was a Beyer M160—a ribbon mic that I always used on him. [Guitar Center interview with Eddie Kramer, webpage is now taken down]