Fender marks 70th anniversary of the iconic Stratocaster, the most beloved model in music history

Fender celebrates the decades-spanning legacy of the Stratocaster with video content series’ and the release of  70th Anniversary Stratocaster models. 

2024 marks 70 years since Fender gifted the world with the Stratocaster guitar, an iconic and unrivalled masterpiece from the mind of Fender founder himself, Leo Fender.

Few items can withstand the test of time while still remaining beloved in the public imagination, but seven decades on from its explosion onto the music scene in 1954, Fender’s Stratocaster has done just that. 

Fender 70th anniversary

The acclaimed guitar manufacturer will celebrate this milestone with a swathe of anniversary-themed surprises this year, but before we get to that, let’s take a look back at how the Stratocaster was born, and how it enshrined its place in music history. 

It was in 1954 when the Stratocaster exploded onto the scene. The model was instantly heralded for its barrier-breaking design, since it was the first electric guitar to not overtly mimic the shape and structure of older hollowbody jazz-style electrics.

The model broke the mould with bold aesthetic choices, and revolutionised guitar-playing with its three-pickup setup and user-friendly tremolo bridge.

While the design alone was enough to make Stratocaster break through, it received amplified attention when it caught the eye of Jimi Hendrix circa 1960.

Fender 70th anniversary

With the off-white Stratocaster becoming the icon’s staple accessory, Fender soared to new heights as other guitarist followed suit.

It isn’t difficult to see why, since guitarists quickly began to favour the lightweight, single-coil outfitted Stratocaster over the more conventional dual-humbucker guitars. 

The ball didn’t stop with Hendrix. Now, the Stratocaster has been seen on the hips of everyone from Bob Dylan to George Harrison, as well as Bonnie Raitt, Jeff Beck, Kurt Cobain, H.E.R. and Steve Lacy, among countless others.

The diversity of those artists speaks to the heart of what makes the Stratocaster so popular; it’s ability to transcend genre, skill level and any qualifying parameter while delivering revolutionary design and user-friendliness.

Fender 70th anniversary

It’s why, after seven decades in the studios of artists of all stripes and across the world, the Stratocaster shows no signs of slowing down — eager to ensure its legacy continues for generations to come.

In celebration of its 70th birthday, Fender is launching a campaign of various content pieces, alongside the release of a new line of 70th Anniversary Stratocaster models.

The former part of the celebration will include the Hero Film titled Voodoo Child: Forever Ahead of Its Time, in which various artists will perform their own rendition of the namesake Hendrix track. 

Featured artists include Tom Morello, Nile Rodgers and Tash Sultana, each of whom will cover the Voodoo Child song home to Hendrix’s iconic riff courtesy of the Stratocaster.

Fender 70th anniversary

Elsewhere in the anniversary series, Fender will offer a documentary-style look back on the Stratocaster’s most iconic moments, offering the narratives behind it’s use in songs like Billy Gibbons’ “A Gift from Jimi,” Nile Rodgers’ “The Hitmaker. 

Alongside its video content series, Fender will celebrate The Stratocaster’s decades-long mainstay by unveiling a new line of 70th Anniversary Stratocaster models, only available for purchase in 2024.

The line encompasses the already released Player Stratocaster and American Professional II Stratocaster, alongside five new anniversary models. 

These include the American Vintage II 1954 Stratocaster — which radiates vintage charm with a 7.25” radius fingerboard and a single-ply pickguard — and the Vintera II Antigua Stratocaster, notable for its U shape maple neck and rosewood fingerboard with vintage-tall frets.

Fender 70th anniversary

That’s only the tip of the iceberg, so if you want to see the full line of 70th Anniversary Stratocaster models, head to Fender’s website here

It’s a multi-layered celebration that goes beyond mere nostalgia, allowing Fender to continue the legacy of its most beloved model and ensure that the Stratocaster remains an unrivalled instrument for posterity.

If it’s good enough for Jimi Hendrix, it’s good enough for us. Head to here to find out more about Fender.