Modifications/Anomalies: Replaced the outer two original Strat pickups with Tele neck and bridge pickups; custom pickguard to accommodate new pickup arrangement; new tuners; pull switch on 1st Tone knob to split pickups.

Details: I dreamed this one up because I loved the sound of a Tele but hated the clunky body. What if I could combine Strat and Tele pickups into one really playable platform? I got together with pal John Penovich and asked if he could custom cut a pickguard for this arrangement (Strat middle, Tele in neck and bridge), which he did, as well as wire the pickups and the pull switch. The basic body is a standard Strat, and started life in gloss black. I wanted it to be a deeper red than Fender’s Fiesta, so I went to Home Depot, went through the color charts and had them mix a custom color from several samples that I gathered. I then gave the body a semi-gloss lacquer finish with 30 coats over several weeks; not as nice as the factory, but I love it. It also has the best maple neck I’ve ever played. The tone is an extraordinary blend of Tele and Strat, and the pull switch makes it ever more tonally flexible. The headstock took a hit during a session at EOP (my fault) and left it with just the serial number “05”, which is fine by me. This is the most playable and reliable of all my instruments; my desert island guitar. Since I put it together I’ve used it on every one of my albums as well numerous other studio sessions, and it’s my go-to guitar for stage work as well.

  • Model: Fender Strat-Tele hybrid
  • Color: Custom Red
  • Date purchased: Stra-Tele