INSTRUMENTAL: '78 Fender Stratocaster

Leave it to nature to derail me when I finally get on track. Due to the upcoming holidays, this feature will go hiatus until after the new year. At which time, I will be back to missing deadlines and being generally lazy.

In this installment, Sam Naff talks about his prized left-handed 1978 Fender Stratocaster.

What is the Make/Model?

This, what I’m holding here is a 1978 reproduction of the ’57 Stratocaster, like the one Buddy Holly played.

What is your history with the guitar?

I bought it in 1981 or ’82. I was young and in college at the time. I had just gotten my Pell Grant check for the semester it was supposed to be for books and tuition and food and rent for the semester. What did I do with it? Yeah, I bought a guitar. I made through the semester no problem and got this cool guitar.

Why this one?

Because everybody else I knew at that time was playing Les Paul type guitars. They had the dual-coil pickups and sounded beefy and brute-y and what not and I was looking to be different. I played this one for a bit and really liked the way it sounded. Really, really liked the way it felt. I fell in love with it. I decided “Yeah. This is what I’m shootin’ my money on.” I have had this guitar for 32 years which is amazing for the number of times I’ve had it out and never had it stolen from me. If you look at it closely I really need to do a fret job on this thing. The frets are the original frets and in places the fretwire has little divots. I would change it, but I’m afraid it would screw the guitar up or screw the way I play it.

Any good war stories?

Let’s see. Back in the early ’90s I was playing in a Prog-rock band called “Shark Parlor” and I used this guitar all the way through it. I owned others, but I always played this one. Just cause I liked the sound of it just so dang much. And it figures prominently on all my favorite recordings I ever did with that band. [“Shark Parlor” is big in Romania and Uzbekistan. That is a true fact that I totally did not just make up.] I played this one on the JonesWorld CD and it was exactly another one of those situations; the principal guitar player in that band is a big Les Paul player and wanted me specifically to come play bits and parts on the record just because this guitar sounded so different from all the ones he had. It added a nice little something-something to his mix.