The Stratocaster Recap

Jen and I were in Nashua, NH yesterday. We went to the Best Buy there to pick up an online order. On the way home we drove past Guitar Center, and my tiny little brain started spinning it’s tiny little wheels.

Back in 2020 as the pandemic was starting I had decided to sell my Fender Stratocaster. My original plan was to take it to a Guitar Center and trade it for something. I know there are probably 50 posts on this blog talking about this, but what can you do. Obviously the pandemic shut down put a temporary end to my plans, but as time passed I also decided to sell it myself rather than trade it. I knew I could get significantly more money for it if I avoided the big box music store.

I had considered trading it for another guitar. Maybe a Les Paul Junior, or a Firebird, or maybe a new amp. Something like a silver face Bassman head or maybe a recent printed circuit board Marshall tube amp. I don’t know. Eventually my Les Paul Custom and ES-335 Pro started getting to the point where the frets were so worn out that they are difficult to play and I hatched the plan to sell the Strat to pay for refrets and new wiring harnesses on the two old Gibsons. I even found a Luthier in Andover that I was hoping could do the repair work for me.

Then time continued to roll on and I never did anything. The guitar sat in it’s case in the cellar, unplayed since at least 2019. Yesterday when we drove past Guitar Center I wished I had the guitar with me because I just would have brought it in and traded it for whatever cash they would give me. I didn’t have it with me though, so I tried not to think about it anymore.

Then the item Jen bought at Best Buy didn’t work and we started talking about returning it today. I took that as a sign from the Guitar Universe and volunteered to drive back to Nashua so that I could take care of her errand and selfishly take care of my own. That’s what I did today. I returned Jen’s purchase and sold my Stratocaster. I got exactly what I expected Guitar Center would pay me for it, which is a lot less than I would have gotten if I had sold it on craigslist or reverb or ebay. The money aspect of this is filling me with a lot of sellers remorse. At the same time, I am seriously hopefully that my guitar will be sold to someone who will give it the love it deserves. I am hoping it will end up with some high school kid who will have his entire world opened up in a way similar to how my world changed when I took home my Les Paul Deluxe from Russo’s Music in Lowell back in 1988. That would make me happy.

I bought it in 2014 in Dover, NH and sold it in 2023 in Nashua, NH for almost the same price. I never gigged with it, though it did sit on the stage at Racks, unplayed, at one Lizardfish show. It is a great guitar, I just never really bonded with it. I loved it, I just didn’t LOVE it… you know? My advice to whomever ends up with it is to just switch on the neck pickup and leave it there forever. It’s a glorious sound.

Happy trails, my 2000 made in USA Fender American Series Stratocaster with a maple neck and an aqua marine finish. Thanks for the memories.

PS: That Luthier in Andover? I tried to make an appointment with them last month to have my ES-335 looked at so they could tell me if it needed a full refret job, or if the current frets would be salvageable. They told me they were booked solid through the end of the month and to try again in May. Okay. May starts tomorrow, right? Yesterday he posted online that he has an injury and will not be able to do full fret replacement jobs for a while until it heels. Oh for fucks sake, dude. I am now taking this personally and looking for alternative shops. Wish me luck,