Jimi Hendrix’s 1968/69 Fender Stratocaster (White)

access_time First seen circa 1970

This is the guitar that Jimi was seen using from around April 1970. Up until that point he used a similar white Stratocaster (Woodstock Strat), but photos seem to indicate that a change took place sometime around early 1970, and Jimi swapped to a different Stratocaster. First photos of this second white maple Stratocaster that we’ve been able to find date back to April 25, 1970, and were taken backstage at The Forum, Los Angeles [Los Angeles (LA Forum) : 25 avril 1970]

The case of there being another white Stratocaster with a maple neck in 1970 is mainly built around one tiny detail – a scratch on the paint on the lower part of the body. This scratch is visible on the guitar that was used from around April 1970 and until Jimi’s last concert in September, but it cannot be on the Strat that was used on Woodstock – neither on the photos taken in 1969, nor on those taken recently. To remind you, the Woodstock Strat is accounted for and is currently owned by the Museum of Pop Culture (EMP Museum).

This is a still from a concert played at the Berkeley Community Theatre on May 30, 1970. The scratch is clearly visible on the edge of the body.

One thing that is admittedly weird about this “new” white Start is that it had the cigar burn marks on the headstock even on the earliest photos. These marks are also present on the Woodstock Strat and on Jimi’s black Strat, but they developed over time and were not present on the guitar when Jimi first started using them.

This could indicate that perhaps this second Strat was used alongside the Woodstock Strat even in 1969, giving the time for the burn marks to develop. Given that the guitars are identical to each other, it would be difficult to differentiate them from the photos. Furthermore, the burn marks would develop on the exact same spot, since Jimi would either place his cigar sitting beneath the strings parallel to frets, or resting on the string tree (this pattern is visible on both the Woodstock Strat and on the black Strat).

So based on all this, it is nearly impossible to figure out the exact story behind this guitar. It is fairly safe to say though, based on the scratch on the body, that there was indeed a second white Stratocaster in 1970. And from that, it only follows that most (if not all) of the gigs played until September 1970, during which Jimi was seen using a white Strat, were played on this guitar and not on the Woodstock Strat. We’ve gone through photos, and scratch seems to be always there – from LA Forum in April all the way to the Isle Of Fehmarn in September.

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access_time 1969

1960s Fender Stratocaster (Telecaster neck, Newport)

Jimi used this guitar only two times, both at the Newport Pop Festival in June 1969. Based on the photos and footage available, the guitar was used on both June 20th and the June 22nd. The guitar is one of the weird ones, in a sense that it was without a doubt put together using parts […]

access_time 1959

1957 Supro Ozark 1560s

This was Hendrix’s first ever electric guitar. According to some sources [Jimi Hendrix Gear, by Michael Heatley, p.9], he got it from his father who bought it in the Myers Music Shop in Seattle in 1959 for $89. According to other [Becoming Jimi Hendrix, Steven Rody] this story is connected to his second electric guitar, a […]

access_time 1960

1960s Danelectro Bronze Standard

After his Supro was stolen, with the help from father Hendrix bought this Danelectro which he later nick-named “Betty Jean” after his girlfriend at the time, Betty Jean Morgan. [Jimi Hendrix Gear, by Michael Heatley, p.28] The guitar was allegedly originally green, but Hendrix himself painted it several times from red to purple, and back […]

access_time 1966

1964 Fender Stratocaster (Linda)

Based on the photos and the stories from various people, Hendrix only carried one single guitar with him on the plane to the UK in September 1966. Since he didn’t make a work permit ahead of time, it is suspected that someone else (perhaps Chas Chandler) carried the guitar for him. By all accounts, it seems […]

access_time 1966

1960s Fender Stratocaster (Carol)

This is likely one of the first, if not -the- first, Stratocaster that Hendrix ever owned. The history behind this guitar is however far from established. The Origins In the book Jimi Hendrix Gear [Jimi Hendrix Gear, p.62] it is noted that Jimi acquired this guitar at the Manny’s Music shop in New York, and that actually […]

access_time 1968

1968 Fender Stratocaster (Woodstock)

This is probably the best-known guitar of Jimi’s. It was used at the Woodstock Festival on August 18, 1969. Before Woodstock however – things are somewhat fuzzy. It seems that the guitar was used from around the same time as the black Strat, around October 1969, but have gone out of rotation sometime in 1969 […]

access_time 1962

1961 Epiphone Wilshire

After coming back from the Army in 1962 Hendrix acquired an Epiphone Wilshire. It is assumed that this was from the money he made playing with the Danelectro, which as previously noted, was indeed borrowed from a friend in the army. Jimi used the guitar in the early days of King Casuals – a band that began performing […]

access_time 1968

1968 Fender Stratocaster (Black)

Hendrix started using this guitar in mid-October 1968, and it represented a shift away from rosewood and towards maple neck Stratocasters. Up until this point, almost every guitar that he played had a rosewood fretboard. This is understandable considering the fact that he mostly used early to mid 60s Strats, most of which were shipped with rosewood […]

access_time 1967

1967 Gibson Flying V (Hand-painted)

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access_time 1968

1967 Gibson SG Custom

This 1967 Gibson SG Custom is most famous for its appearance on the Dick Cavett show on September 9, 1969. The guitar was however first seen in Jimi’s hands around late 1968. More precisely, November 28, 1968, Rhode Island Auditorium gig seem to be the first one to feature this guitar based on the photos. From then […]

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