David Gilmour of Pink Floyd famously has a Strat with the serial # on it’s neck plate of #0001. It is discussed as a 1954 - not likely the true first production Strat, since they stamped the neck plates with numbers and tossed them in a box; so it was assumed a worker pulled it out. But one of the very first Strats, with a custom gold pickguard, etc. Huge wow factor.
However, I get a newsletter email from Fretted Americana, a super-pricey vintage guitar shop in CA. In this week’s email, they are selling a Limited Edition replica of the Gilmour 0001 Strat. But they offer a VERY different history of the original guitar:
So Gilmour’s Strat is a '57 Parts-o-Caster with a set of Duncan’s in it. Similar to the legendary guitars Duncan built for Jeff Beck from various parts and Duncan’s handmade, pre-production pickups. Wonderfully cool, but not a one-off first-year-of-production custom Stratocaster.
Now I wonder if the #0001 Gilmour guitar actually has TG '54 written on the butt of the bolt-on neck, or if the penciled initials are faked. These days, relying on pencil writing on an old guitar is dodgy at best.
I actually know Seymour Duncan, and was pleasantly surprised when he remembered me when I encountered him years later. A great guy. Oh yeah, to be clear, I have no problem believing that the Fretted Americana story is more correct and that Seymour would say something if wasn’t. He also did a TON of custom work back then, including the infamous “Tele-Gib” Telecaster routed and fitted with a couple of humbuckers that Jeff Beck famously used on Blow by Blow’s Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers.
And yeah, Tadeo Gomez is one of those names that Fender geeks say in hushed tones. Another is Abigail Ybarra, who hand wound pickups back in the day. Her inconsistencies were considered to have an effect. She was doing custom winds very recently for a big surcharge at the Custom Shop. Kinda silly.
And yes, Fenders are the worst for counterfeiting. As they say, it amazing how many more Fender Custom Color guitars from the '50’s and 60’s survived than were actually produced ;).