David Gilmour

Many musicians inherit amazing guitars. Others have guitars brought to them. David Gilmour had contributed to the music scene as a member of Pink Floyd using various instruments. As the 70s drew to a close, Gilmour acquired his iconic 1954 Strat. Remarkable in itself and known for its performance on a number of Pink Floyd songs, Gilmour’s Stratocaster is an early instance of the model - it has a 0001 serial number on the neck plate (mind you, there is no correlation between these facts).

This Stratocaster had a neck that was built in June 1954, as well as a body to go with it built 3 months later. The Stratocaster went on the market at the beginning of 1954 after a number of prototypes of it were manufactured the year prior. Gilmour owned a model with a non-standard finish. This finish is sometimes called “faded Olympic white” or “desert sand.” It featured a vibrato unit and gold jack plate, as well as an anodized aluminum gold pickguard that resembled the ones that appeared on the Duo-Sonic, Music Master, and Jazz Master. The serial number of the vintage Fender was utilized to designate a customized model, suggesting that this may be the original Stratocaster that had hardware with gold plates. This version was usually seen on Blonde Mary Kaye Stratocasters, which had grown in popularity some years later. Regardless, Stratocasters that were produced before the one Gilmore used have been spotted sporting higher numbers. As such, the 0001 probably wasn’t meant to represent the guitar’s chronological issuance.

The 0001 Strat that Gilmour owned had a circuitous journey before it got to him. Seymour Duncan, a pickup maker, was the original owner before the instrument was bought by a guitar tech of Pink Floyd named Phil Taylor. He paid $900 for the instrument during the middle of the 70s. Alan Rogan, a guitar tech for Pete Townshend, is said to have been in possession of the guitar at some point between the time Duncan and Taylor owned it. Gilmour offered Taylor cash for the guitar two years later, as Duncan was trying to make a property down payment. The ’54 Strat was mostly used in recording studios from 1977 and onward on multiple recordings made by Pink Floyd. The guitar was also used when Gilmour performed for Bryan Ferry and Paul McCartney. You can hear and see the Fender Stratocaster in action during the 15th-anniversary concert of the instrument, which took place in 2004 at London’s Wembley Arena. Gilmour used this historic guitar during live performances of “Marooned” and “Coming Back to Life.”

Next player: Buddy Guy