Crazy Vibe Strat Epiphany

It’s the colour that this guitar always should have been. Here’s a little story:

Back in 2002 after having not played or owned a Strat for about 8 years – in fact having become a decidedly anti-Strat player – I played a showcase gig at a large, well-known rehearsal facility in London. On that particular day I was playing a wonderful 1956 Les Paul Junior, which I got after having become so blown away by my 1963 SG junior (alas I no longer have that peach of a guitar).

The Les Paul jr was an inevitable purchase as I believed things could only get better by going 50’s instead of 60’s for the ultimate in Gibson P90 mojo.

The Les Paul jr was a lovely¬†guitar – the guy who bought it off me became a very good friend and still has it to this day – but it wasn’t a patch on the SG jr, which was finished in TV white and to this day I still miss greatly. It just screamed that guitar!

Anyway, not to go off on too much of a tangent, after that showcase, which didn’t go according to the ultimate plan of being signed and becoming a huge rock star my band convened in a pub somewhere about a week later where the bass player said to me: “You know, after seeing you with that Les Paul and seeing how you play. I’d say it’s not the right guitar for you. I think you’d be better suited to a Strat”.

Well he had never seen me with a Strat before and he didn’t even know I learned to play on a Strat. What’s even more incredible is that two days before that conversation I had actually bought a Strat after scouring the ads in the local newspaper (this was pre-Ebay!). Synchronicity to say the least!

That Strat was a mid 1990’s Japanese Fender ’62 reissue in Daphne Blue (there it is on the first photo). It played like a dream, sounded fantastic and looked sexy as hell. After stupidly selling it I have always missed it. It got more attention than any other guitar I’ve ever had because of its beautiful looks!

Strangely, when I found this sunburst, Squier Classic Vibe in a 2nd-hand guitar shop and was smitten because it reminded me of the Fender Japan reissue, the first thing that crossed my mind was to refinish it and make it a project guitar, but it never once even dawned on me to paint it blue. Instead I had some crazy idea of finishing it in an oil finish that was supposed to be translucent black. It came out brown. I tried to convince myself that it looked cool, but I never really liked it.

After spraying my Squier Jazz bass with the cheap Sky blue paint from my local Home Pro superstore I was inspired with the idea of recreating some of the visual magic I had with the Fender Japan ’62 reissue, so there I was, subjecting this poor guitar to more physical abuse for the sake of looks!

The refinish has been a huge success and given me an enormous sense of achievement. The J-Bass turned out really well too and I actually think my Classic Vibe Strat now looks even better than the Fender Japan ’62 reissue I sold over¬†10 years ago. It looks like a vintage guitar that is in impeccable condition.

The Squier Classic Vibe series is, in my opinion the most guitar you can get for the price. I just can’t fault them – a truly wonderful guitar.

I have since had to refinish this guitar again (the same colour) after some severe damage. It’s now better than ever and still axe #1!

The new refinished is documented here


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