date_range 2003

John Mayer’s Fender Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster Custom Shop

John started using this guitar sometime towards late 2003. One of the earlier appearances of the guitar was on December 30, 2003, on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, when John played a set with Buddy Guy and Double Trouble. The guitar was subsequently used on the 46th Annual Grammy Awards show on February 6th, various dates throughout the 2004 tour in support of the Heavier Things album, as well as on many different dates throughout the John Mayer Trio era.

Mayer with the Monterey Strat possibly for the first time in public. December 29th, 2003, NYC. Photo by TommyGuitars

Mayer with the Monterey Strat possibly for the first time in public. December 28th, 2003, NYC. Photo by TommyGuitars

The guitar most likely is one of the Fender Custom Shop’s limited replica run of Jimi Hendrix’s Stratocaster that he played and burned at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. A total number of 210 of these guitars were produced, all painted and hand-signed by Pamelina H. (see H.I.Guitars, Inc. Shop Collection for photos). If you wanna learn more about the original guitar, please refer to Jimi Hendrix’s 1963/64 Fender Stratocaster – Monterey Pop Strat.

John’s guitar, in particular, is mostly stock but it did have a few modifications done to it. According to Mayer himself [John Mayer – Jones Beach Back Stage Tour] he had the neck custom-made to feature a Brazilian rosewood fretboard, and he had the back of it sanded down.

More than just one Monty?

It is rumored that John owns more than just one Monterey Stratocaster, but as of now, there isn’t enough information about the subject to be able to say anything for sure. It does seem that at least from 2004 to 2006, every time John picked up a Monterey Stratocaster it was probably the same exact guitar.

There are also rumors that the guitar that John plays isn’t a genuine Fender, but based on the photos alone this also seems to be unlikely. If you carefully watch the ‘Who Do You Think I Was’ music video, you can spot the golden transition-style logo on the figured maple headstock, as well as the number printed on the back on the headstock (somewhat less clearly due to poor quality of the video).

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