Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster

blackmore-thumbThe Fender Custom Shop is paying tribute to the guitar used in one of the most recognized guitar riffs in rock history, the one from Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” by crafting the limited edition Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster. Limited to 2013 production, the guitar is a replica of the black Fender Stratocaster Blackmore played with Deep Purple in the early ’70s.

The Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster has a two-piece alder body with a lightly worn Black urethane finish, a ’69 “U”-shaped maple neck, 7.25″-radius maple fingerboard with medium jumbo frets, and custom ’69 Stratocaster pickups hand-wound by Fender legend Abigail Ybarra. Other distinctive features include three-way pickup switching, Schaller® tuners, Micarta nut, four-bolt neck plate stamped with the serial number and the stylized Fender “F,” and a vintage-style synchronized tremolo equipped with Blackmore’s distinctive custom ¼” arm. Each instrument also includes an exclusive rear-headstock tribute decal, certificate of authenticity and orange-line black textured vinyl case with a “Fender Amp” logo.


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13 Responses to “Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster”
  1. AlexEP AlexEP says:

    As omner of a Classic 70 I only can say beautiful!!!

  2. Airdog says:

    Wow, this is great, the Blackmore strat from the glory days (although I’m sure he is pictured with a sunburst guitar in my Machine Head liner notes). Presumably this guitar will be a ‘pre-scalloped’ version. When exactly did he start with the chisel anyway?

  3. Orgazmo says:

    another “cool” guitar for the doctors, lawyers and japanese CEO’s to enjoy.

    if you broke down the materials [what fender corp pays] it would break down to about $80.00.

    i imagine the tab on this will be slightly more than a MIM strat. and more than one will be wall hanger, conversation pieces in the offices of non playing wall street dudes.


  4. Stratifier Stratifier says:

    They must be short of new ideas… I would have prefered the Fender custom shop to release the only one that really counts, the Oly White RW scalloped, as close as possible to the original, just like the Gilmour’s Black strat …
    ( I heard about a USA Signature model released in the past but I wonder if it is myth or reality.)

  5. drrickdn says:

    I have a Eric Clapton “Blackie” stat from 1989….great case…excellent condition…DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THE VALUE MIGHT BE ?? Or a reliable source for pricing and value ??

    • Anywhere from $1000-$2000. I just paid $1150 for a mint ’89. Personally I think they’re worth more as the ’89s are the first production year for the EC Strat, they have a better neck profile than later ones, and they have the gold Lace Sensors, but it’s all what the market will bear. I’d ask $1500-$1600, and if offered, I’d accept $1300. that’s if it’s in really excellent condition.

  6. amjtulsa says:

    Well, Fender, it’ has become a Cultus of the Ones who can afford such extravangas like the Apple Cult.
    With thousands of copies under multiple brand names too many to recite here. I was hooked for the sound it gives, still. Therefore when my wife and I were in Cologne, where a huge Musicstore is located, we viisted this store, and I found myself back in my teens and twenties, a wave of nostalgie overwhemed me. I try to seek some help from one of the salesmen wondering around me, but to no avail. Then I grabbed the cheap and most expensive Fender I could find, and rehearsed in a soundproof music cabin on them, winding up witth a replica of Jack & Danny Bros of 70 bucks (euro), still available. I had to replace it for a Vintage Deluxe from the same company…
    So all in all Fender has become a fata morgana for most musicians, who can not afford so steep prices. I know a Rolls Royce under the Guitars you might say, but for what a price. PS I was born in 1941.

  7. Rastus Rastus says:

    Yo people,

    Mr Blackmore originally played a Gibson on the 1st 3-Deep Purple albums, & you’ll find that the seminal “In Rock” album is a mixture of both the Gibson & Stratocaster played through a personalized Marshall Stack. He originally acquired his first Stratocaster as a gift from Eric Clapton, though it was nearly un-usable. Many great players started to swap to Stratocasters around this time-frame ( 1968 ish – 1970 ), namely due to the influence of Jimi Hendrix, – He was the man !
    The black Stratocaster as claimed to be replicated can be seen being used on the “newly” released archive Deep Purple DVD from 1972 titled Live in concert, 1972 – 1973, where you’ll also see it sadly being destroyed near the end of the show…The guitar apparently does / did have a mildly scalloped fret-board as claimed by the narrator of the DVD.The DVD also includes footage filmed by the ABC of a concert in 1973 in NYC, & though heavily edited, & only including a hand-full of songs, these combined gigs are apparently the only existing live footage of the original Mark II Deep Purple available. Certainly worth owning if you can’t afford the guitar !
    It’s a shame to see that Stratocaster destroyed, as it actually had a fuller-bodied-sound when compared to the Sunburst-finished one that he replaces it with. The difference in sound is clearly audible though subtle. The value of most Stratocasters post 1985 is stable, though hardly comparable to any Stratocaster made in previous years, as the value of these babies is ever-increasing at a dramatic rate. However, I personally think that this particular Tribute model will be something really special to own, & will appreciate in value much more than what the custom shop has had to offer so far, especially as the years roll-by.



  8. jaclop099 jaclop099 says:

    Um, in the picture it looks identical to an Eric Clapton strat…

    • Rastus Rastus says:


      The Stratocasters of this vintage, also known as the 1st to be radically changed with the then new CBS owners, actually have a lot in favor going for them both physically, & historically. A closer inspection would reveal that it’s quite different to the Stratocasters that Mr Clapton began to use, & in fact, history records that whilst around the time of both the Blind Faith era & Derek & the Dominos, ( post Cream era ), Mr Clapton acquired approx, 3-Stratocasters from a pawn-shop in the Deep South, & made his famous “Blackie” from a compilation of these 3-guitars, all of which were apparently 1950′s & early 1960′s guitars, so technically speaking, the only thing in common with this 1968 re-issue from Fender would be the color & maple neck ! These guitars are very-much more in-line with the Stratocasters used by Jimi Hendrix, particularly once he started making a good living & acquired more of them, usually, though not always being Black or Olympic White ones.

      The finer details will reveal…..

      1 = The large headstock & bold, black, Fender Stratocaster logo with synchronized tremolo, & the circular custom contour body stickers.

      2 = Genuine 1968 models will have no skunk-stripe running the length of the back of the neck.

      3 = The maple finger-board is glued into place, & at the time was a special-order since Fender decided to fit the rosewood finger-board as standard fitment through-out the 1960′s. It costs a lot of money to re-tool your machines back to the 1950′s type of manufacture.

      4 = 4 – bolt fixing of the neck to the body.

      5 = Truss-rod adjustment to be made at the body-end of the guitar.

      6 = Apparently Fender history reveals that in an effort to reduce over-all costs, a CBS employee bought a large amount of wire that’s used in winding your pick-ups, that was the wrong specification, & hence the sound of the guitar changed…Maybe this is why we have Fenders special 1969 hand-wound pick-ups to purchase ?

      7 = There’s no micro-tilt neck adjustment.

      8 = The early 1970′s Stratocasters were the last instruments to be handled, re-designed & appraised by both Leo Fender himself, & close friend / employee Freddie Tavares.

      It’s these finer details with regards to the finger-board that will reveal how close this custom-shop Tribute Stratocaster is to the original spec guitars, & whether you get the real value for your money.



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