Stevie Ray Vaughan Fender® Custom Shop

logo_fender_chrome-wht.jpgStevie Ray Vaughan Fender® Custom Shop Tribute Series Guitar Based on Vaughan’s Own ‘Lenny’ ’65 Stratocaster® to Be Launched on Dec. 12 and Offered Exclusively in the U.S. by Guitar Center®

Original “Lenny” Electric Guitar among Most Storied Instruments in Music History  

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz — In a historic collaboration among Fender®, Guitar Center® and the Stevie Ray Vaughan estate, the famous Stevie Ray Vaughan Lenny Stratocaster® guitar has been commissioned by Guitar Center to be reproduced in a limited edition by the Fender Custom Shop. As part of Fenders Tribute Series of guitars, Lenny will be produced in a limited quantity, with 185 guitars offered for sale in the United States, made available exclusively through Guitar Center. Guitar Center stores throughout the United States will introduce the guitar on Dec. 12, 2007, and will offer them to customers for $17,000 (U.S.).

This emotive addition to the Custom Shop Tribute Series will feature an intricate reproduction of Lenny down to the smallest of detailsfrom the customized neck that was a gift from ZZ Tops Billy F Gibbons to the reflective SRV stickers on the body to the battered headstock, the autograph that Stevie himself etched into the neck plate, and even an autograph from legendary baseball great, Mickey Mantle.

Guitar Center, the worlds largest musical instrument retailer, purchased the original guitar for $623,500 at a 2004 Christies auction that benefited the Crossroads Centre, Antigua, a charitable organization founded by Eric Clapton.

Guitar Center is both thrilled and privileged to be able to offer Stevie Ray Vaughans Lenny Fender Stratocaster to the world, said Keith Brawley, Guitar Center vice president of merchandising for guitars and amplifiers. Stevie Ray Vaughans fans are among the most loyal and passionate guitar lovers in the world. The Lenny Stratocaster, Stevies main instrument for his love songs, is a truly fascinating guitar that has, as part of its DNA, a tender, personal love story and an incredibly colorful and touching history.

The original Lenny guitar is a universally recognizable Fender Stratocaster, best known for its uniquely bright and powerful tone and known as one of Stevie Ray Vaughans favorite instruments throughout his entire career. The guitar itself has an almost mystical heritage that can be traced back to the very beginning of Vaughans rise to stardom.

Stevie Ray Vaughan was just a struggling young guitarist in Austin, Texas, in 1980, when his wife, Lenora Lenny Vaughan, gave him a used Stratocaster that had recently caught his eye in a local pawnshop. It was a 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar with the original pickups that, from the look of it, had seen better days. Although it began life as a three-color sunburst model, it had obviously been refinished (none too expertly) at some point, and now it had a dark natural finish bearing an elaborate inlay in the body behind the bridge. Nonetheless, there was something about it that clearly and immediately resonated deeply with Vaughan.

As Vaughan himself said during an interview published in the Feb. 1990 issue of Guitar Player magazine:

Its called Lenny. I found it at a pawnshop and didnt have the money to buy it, and my wife and several other friends of mine put a pool together and bought the guitar. Its always meant a lot to me. And I love what it sounds like. Riviera Paradise and Lenny (Texas Flood) are both played on the same guitar, and for some reason that guitar works for songs like that more than anything else. [Guitar Player, Feb. 1990]

Seven friends with $50 each pooled their money to buy the Stratocaster and gave it to Vaughan on his birthday during a celebration at a local Austin nightclub. He was thrilled. He took the guitar home and, sometime that night, as Lenora slept, wrote a new song on it. In the morning, Lenora Vaughan remembers, He was sitting on the edge of the bed with the guitar and said, Listen to this. He played her the song he had written that night, Lenny. The song later became one of Vaughans most well-known instrumental pieces, and he continued to perform it exclusively on the Lenny guitar. Throughout the remainder of his career, the Lenny guitar traveled with Vaughan almost everywhere he went, and it was later autographed by baseball great Mickey Mantle during a chance meeting in Houston. On April 10, 1985, Vaughan had just performed the National Anthem at the seasons opening game for the Houston Astros where Mantle was also in attendance as a guest of honor. Without a baseball or bat nearby, Stevie offered up his beloved guitar to be touched with the magic of the American sporting legend. More information on the guitars journey, plus detailed images, can be found at

“This guitar had very special meaning to Stevie, said Mike Eldred, Fender Custom Division sales and marketing director. He had it throughout his career; he took it everywhere, and during each show, he stopped, sat down on the stage, and played that song, on that guitar. It’s like he was holding on to that very special time before he was a star, and just didnt want to let that part of his life go.”

About Guitar Center:

Guitar Center, Inc. (NASDAQ: GTRC) is the leading United States retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates more than 210 Guitar Center stores across the United States. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 95 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician’s Friend, Inc., and its catalogs and websites, including,, and More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company’s web site at

About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation:

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the worlds foremost manufacturer of guitars, amplifiers and related equipment since 1946, and its name has become synonymous with all things rock n roll. Iconic Fender® instruments such as the Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars are known worldwide as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized by todays musicians and collectors. FMIC brands include Fender®, Squier®, Guild®, Gretsch®, Jackson®, Charvel®, SWR®, EVH®, Tacoma®, Olympia® and Brand X®. For more information, visit

Since 1987, the Fender Custom Shop has been known as a dream factory for guitarists and collectors throughout the world. The skilled craftsmen in Fenders Corona, Calif., Custom Shop are known worldwide for their artistry in making guitars that range from the fine to the fantastic. Whether its building a new custom instrument from the ground up or modifying an existing one, Fenders finest is the worlds finest. Fender Custom Shop instruments have been crafted for and with the input of the worlds finest playersnames like Clapton, Beck, Burton, Cray, Gilmour, Townshend and Vaughan, to name just a few.

Trademarks/Service Mark: Mickey Mantle and Mickey C. Mantle, stylized, (the Mickey Mantle Signature), are each a trademark and/or service mark of the Mickey Charles Mantle Marital Trust II and are administered and licensed under the authority of Mantle IP Holdings, Inc. ©2007, Mickey Charles Mantle Marital Trust II and Mantle IP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

High-resolution images available upon request.

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