Jimi Hendrix’s 1967/68 Fender Stratocaster (Light Blue)
This guitar is not all that significant at least when compared to some of the others, but it is nonetheless one of the more interesting ones. Jimi used it for a very brief period of time, most likely not much longer than a few months.
It was first seen in Zurich, Switzerland at the Monsterkonzert on May 31st of 1968 [see comments below, thanks Chad], and then again, in pieces, at the Lagoon Opera House, Salt Lake City on August 30, 1968.
Interestingly, Jimi or someone close to him, re-assembled the guitar and Jimi continued using it with half a headstock (the functioning half). It was seen in this state in Seattle on September 4, 1968 (thanks Scott).
But, perhaps the most interesting thing about this guitar is actually the color.
From the photos, the finish seems closest to what Fender used to call ‘Blue Ice metallic’. This was a custom finish used on the models made between 1960 and 1969. All of Fender’s custom finishes, of course, originated from the popular car finishes from back in the day.
The Fate of the blue Strat
As can be seen in the photos taken in Salt Lake City on August 30, 1968 (check comments below), Jimi smashed the guitar at some point in the concert. The headstock was pretty much split in half, and a crack formed across the whole body – likely rendering the guitar unusable and unfixable.
As pointed out above, this wasn’t the end of the blue Strat though, as it was seen with half a headstock on September 4th.
It was then seen again at The Hollywood Bowl backstage on September 14th, just sitting next to a wall. Unfortunately, it’s unknown what happened to it after that point in time.
According to the photographer James Davenport, who was at Jimi’s concert at the Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport on July 31, 1968, the guitar was stolen from Jimi a few days after the gig, together with a black Les Paul.
He had the [blue Fender] guitar a total of three or four days before it was stolen.Photographer shares rare shots of Jimi Hendrix’s Shreveport concert
Jimi did indeed own a black Les Paul around this time, so the story could very well be true.
However, that means that if the blue Strat was stolen, it had to have been returned to Jimi relatively quickly since it was seen at a later date. (there doesn’t appear to be much info about this theft out there, so if you happen to know any specific details, please leave a comment below. )
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