Fender Custom Shop unveils limited edition replica of Deep Purple guitarist’s legendary black Stratocaster
By Alex Baker
Fender Guitars has unveiled a special limited edition Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster based on the instrument the pioneering heavy metal guitarist used to record the iconic hit “Smoke On the Water.”
The guitar has been meticulously crafted to closely resemble the midnight black Stratocaster that Blackmore played during the early Seventies when Deep Purple recorded many of their most enduring albums.
The Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster features a two-piece alder body, with a slightly worn black urethane finish, a ’69 U shaped maple neck and 7.25″-radius maple fingerboard with medium jumbo frets. It comes equipped with three ’69 Stratocaster pickups, hand wound by Fender’s legendary pickup builder, Abigail Ybarra.
The guitar’s release was timed to perfectly coincide with the 40th anniversary of “Smoke On the Water,” which came out in May of 1973.
Among the guitar’s other features are three-way pickup switching, Schaller tuners, Micarta nut, a four-bolt neck plate stamped with the serial number and the Fender “F,” and a synchronized tremolo complete with Blackmore’s own signature 1/4′ arm.
The guitars, which will only be produced this year, come in a black textured vinyl case with orange lining and a Fender Amp logo.
Check out the video above or more information, or visit fender.com.