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 Squier Classic Vibe in a 2nd-hand guitar shop and was smitten within about 15 seconds of holding it 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, but still looked quite cool.

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. My Vintage modified Strat is close in quality and feel too and even cheaper to buy, which is why I’m now very keen on getting a surf green Jaguar from the Squier Vintage Modified series.


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