David Gilmour's Legendary #0001 Strat - really a '54?

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.

Here is link to a site with what I see as the “known story”: http://www.gilmourish.com/?page_id=259

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.

Huh. Presumably, this comes from Seymour Duncan, since it’s hard to imagine why anybody would make that story up - unless, of course, Phil Taylor felt the need for a little revenge.

Yeah, now that these old guitars are worth more than a mansion in Toledo, there’s lots of incentive to put counterfeit examples on the market. Apparently, even new guitars aren’t immune:

How to spot a fake: Gibson warns of counterfeit guitars sold in USA
And if you’re going to pencil somebody’s initials into a guitar neck, who better than Tadeo Gomez? You could probably establish a religious cult around this guy among Strat aficionados, with all the members wearing a pencil behind each ear.

Anyhow, next time I find myself having lunch with David Gilmore, I’ll try to refrain from bringing this subject up. :slight_smile:

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 ;).