History of Fender Electric Guitar: John Mayer and the “Black 1”

John Mayer shows it all in person (video)

Fender Guitar Stratocaster Black 1 review

By Gianriccardo Pera

Everyone who likes Fender Vintage Guitars and blues guitarists know about the quite famous "Black 1", the Stratocaster which John Mayer usually plays both for studio recording and live performances. Amongst the scenario of the most particular Fender Guitar icons, this is undoubtedly one of the most sophisticated, despite its so rather strange details.

John Mayer's Black 1

John Mayer's Black 1

Some say it's ugly, some others think that in the end, the matter of relic guitars is quite fascinating, considering that it became a fashion to the point that Fender itself had on sale new guitars arranged and looking like very old ones (for quite high prices by the way..). By the way, in the next photo, you can see the signature Black 1, which they prefer to propose with the complete original painting.

John Mayer's Black 1

John Mayer's Black 1

Does Paint influence the Sound?

John Mayer's guitar look has a technical reason rather than an aesthetic one. According to him, it has to be less painted as possible, although, by his own words, to have it totally unpainted would have been too much, and not helpful for the sound. So in this video you can hear the tale: he drove to the Fender custom shop, talked with the technicians (in the video you'll also find some rare footage, taken from the Fender laboratories), until they came to this solution, which he later finished off himself by taking another little bit of pain of the body.  Enjoy this, learn secrets from a great player, but please DON'T mess up your Strat trying to imitate him!!!

The above is a fascinating theory for every blues player.  One of these models is shown in the unique Fender Vintage Collection. An exhibition travelling through different towns to show the history of electric guitar.  This collection, the only one in the whole world, contains all of the models of Stratocaster, Telecaster, amplifiers, bass guitars and vintage custom components produced from 1951 to 1974.

Unique in the world

This Fender Vintage exhibition was collected and is owned by Flavio Camorani and Michela Taioli from Tribute Band Floyd Machine, with more than 30 years of research and accurate selection and expertise, and was recognised by the Fender Factory itself.

John Mayor's latest signature model

Like to read also about his latest signature model; the controversial Silver Sky? Here you’ll find an interesting article about it.