It all begins in the late 1960's. Jimi Hendrix is re-inventing the guitar and a lot of people are
taking notice. As usual some great music is flowing out of Texas. Some of this great music was to be played by
a young man named Billy Gibbons, who at the time was in a band called the Moving Sidewalks, and would soon form ZZ Top. This
is where the story begins.
It was right around this time that I had started playing music professionally and was just about
to embark on my first road trip that lasted just about two years. During these first two years on the road a story kept coming
up from other musicians who would tell me of this great trio from Texas called ZZ Top and that the guitar player had been
given a pink stratocaster by the now infamous Jimi Hendrix. This stratocaster was becoming a legend for many reasons.
It's famous previous owner would have been enough, but now it was rumoured that Billy Gibbons had used it on some of
the early ZZ Top recordings. The guitar was featured in the centerfold of Guitar World Magazine in 1985. There it was, a right
handed late 50's maple neck pink stratocaster strung up left handed as Jimi would have used it. Quite a sight ! The story
now takes an interesting twist. Jump ahead to 1994. My life as a musician takes its up and downs as the years and miles build
up untill one day it finds me at the Long Island Guitar show in Dix Hills , N.Y. Amongst the thousands of guitars at
this show I happened to be walking by a booth that I had no idea would change my life. Tucked away in a pile of
guitars is a pink stratocaster that brought back memories of the stories I used to hear. I walked by it a few times and
walked away as the price was a little high for strats at that time. Well, that damn guitar kept me awake for three months
as I never took the time to see who's booth it was. I did take some pictures of it along with some other guitars at the booth.
After some pain staking research I was finally able to locate the dealer and gave him a call. Here's where it really starts
to get interesting.
I told him I had been searching for that guitar for about three months after seeing it at the show.
We haggled a bit about the price and finally got it to a point that I could afford. After the deal was done we talked
for a while when the subject of the pink stratocaster that Jimi had given to Billy Gibbons came up. He said he had some
interesting information to share with me now that I had purchased the guitar. Some of what follows was written into an evaluation
of the guitar with it's provenance and was included in the sale.
As we all know, quite a few tall tales have come out of Texas, but this one is a dandy! He
told me that the guitar I had just purchased was a duplicate guitar to the one that Jimi had supposedly given to B.
G. As the story goes, a guitar dealer and friend of Billy Gibbons, Kurt Linhoff, had gotten together with Billy, with
two late 50's strat's and refinished both of them in the the now famous pink finish that was done with the same car
paint that Leo Fender used to use. What's more, this was all done in Billy Gibbons garage. One of these guitars was set up
left -handed to be the Hendrix guitar and the other was set up right handed so that they could actually play it, being that
neither Billy or Kurt plays left-handed. With me so far ? That kind of makes you think that the Hendrix guitar
is a myth. Well, it may be, but thats up to you to decide. Further more , the right handed guitar was used by both Billy
and Kurt, and is in all probabillity the actual instrument used on some of the early ZZ Top recordings that Billy had claimed
he used the pink stratocaster on. A number of Texas musicians have come up to me on various occasions and asked me if
I new anything about that guitar, describing certain markings on it without even looking closely at it. The three most interesting
marks on the instrument are a crack in the back of the body travelling to the tremolo cavity, a double Z scratched on the
front, and a W.G. scratched on the back, I'm assuming it stands for Willie G. - or the Reverend Willie G. as Billy Gibbons
is sometimes known. Before I go any further , I will explain that this information has been verified by Kurt Linhoff
to me ,and also a number of of other people who will remain nameless at this point. I did speak to Billy Gibbons about it
, but he would not confirm or deny anything I had told him, outside of that he knew what guitar I was talking about.
This all being said, it is my opinion that the right - handed instrument has a equaly important role in American
Rock and Roll history. I sure not everyone will agree , but undeniably these are the facts. In my possession is paperwork
confirming what I have explained along with a CD audio recording with even more details. We all know that the price of Fender
and Gibson guitars has risen dramatically in the past couple of years, especially those with an amazing history. Truth or
not the legend of the pink stratocaster has a new, lesser known chapter, - untill now.
Here are some
other interesting photos of the guitar !