“Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.” —Jimi Hendrix
I’ve been playing guitar for about 20 years now. I discovered Jimi Hendrix in my teens, and I’ll never tire of listening to his music. He’s best known for playing a right-handed Fender Stratocaster reversed for left-handed use. But if you look at my collection of guitars you’ll notice I don’t own a strat. The truth is I’ve never really liked them (or the Gibson Les Paul for that matter). However, it’s been a while since I bought a new guitar, and buying guitars is an addiction.
Fender has made a number of licensed Hendrix copies over the years for right-handed players like me, including a reversed left-handed ’68 Olympic White strat with a mirrored headstock decal (so if you stand in front of a mirror you look like a southpaw). One of those recently sold for $1,800. Now that seems a bit much for a reproduction of poorer quality hardware, with a bridge pickup that actively makes the sound worse. Plus I liked the look of that guitar better when it was temporarily sporting the neck off a Telecaster at the Newport Pop Festival in 1969.
So given that what we’re really talking about here is a novelty instrument, I came up with a solution. Take a $100 Chinese-made strat copy, attach a $100 Chinese-made tele neck to it, get a custom pickguard to get the bridge pickup back at the right angle, and get a custom made water-slide decal with a reversed tele logo. Not sure when I’ll get around to buying the guitar and neck (attaching a tele neck to a strat is a non-trivial task). But given that Fender aggressively pursues unlicensed decal shops, to combat the fake guitar trade, I figured I’d better order one while I could.