Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton

Although Eric Clapton gained his fame in the 1960s playing Gibson guitars as a member of Cream, he had started out on a Fender – a Telecaster – with the Yardbirds.

In 1970, on a visit to Nashville to perform on the Johnny Cash TV show, he purchased a handful of used Stratocasters from Gruhn Guitars (then called GTR) and Sho-Bud Music. When Clapton’s new band, Derek and the Dominos, debuted later in 1970, their hit “Layla” featured Clapton with one of those Strats, nicknamed “Brownie”. Another Strat that he pieced together from his Nashville purchases, nicknamed “Blackie”, became his most famous instrument.

Fender’s Eric Clapton signature model, introduced in 1988, was essentially a 1957 reissue with a blocked tremolo like Blackie’s, but it was no Blackie replica (that would come later).

The 1988 Clapton sported the new Fender-Lace Sensor pickups, which not only looked different, with their pole-less design, but also produced a “quieter” signal.

It also came in a lot more colors than the basic black, including Olympic White, Candy Green, and Torino Red.