For more than 40 years now, Blackmore's famously forceful G minor blues riff in the 1972 Deep Purple classic "Smoke on the Water" has served as the quintessential heavy rock guitar riff and a metal-melody primer for burgeoning rock guitarists everywhere. Its place in rock history is as solid as the stature of the guitarist who played it.
The Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster takes you back in time and back to the shores of Switzerland's Lake Geneva, where the smoke from the burning Montreux Casino drifted over the waters on Dec. 4, 1971, as the building was destroyed. That night, the members of Deep Purple watched the "fire in the sky" from their hotel and drew inspiration for a timeless rock classic. Blackmore played the song's powerful double-stop riff on a black 1968 Stratocaster, not knowing at the time that he was creating an archetypal guitar figure that would be eagerly imitated by legions of guitarists.
PRESS RELEASE - The Fender Custom Shop is extremely proud to pay tribute to the "anvil" used to forge one of the greatest guitar riffs in rock history, the one from Deep Purple classic "Smoke on the Water," by crafting the limited edition Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster. Limited to 2013 production, the guitar is a meticulously crafted replica of the black Fender Stratocaster Blackmore played with Deep Purple in the early '70s, including the recording of seminal album Machine Head and the band's greatest hit single.
"Smoke on the Water" was released on album in 1972 and as a single in May 1973. A major hit, it reached number four on the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States and propelled Machine Head into the top 10 worldwide. The song has appeared on countless "greatest" lists over the past 40 years, including Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time," VH1's "40 Greatest Metal Songs" and Q magazine's "100 Greatest Guitar Tracks."
Deep Purple broke out of Hertford, England, in the late '60s and, along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, is considered a pioneering heavy metal and modern hard rock band. Once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's loudest, the band has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. More recently, Deep Purple was nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2013.
The Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster has a two-piece alder body with a lightly worn Black urethane finish, a '69 "U"-shaped maple neck, 7.25"-radius maple fingerboard with medium jumbo frets, and custom '69 Stratocaster pickups hand-wound by Fender legend Abigail Ybarra. Other distinctive features include three-way pickup switching, Schaller tuners, Micarta nut, four-bolt neck plate stamped with the serial number and the stylized Fender "F," and a vintage-style synchronized tremolo equipped with Blackmore's distinctive custom ¼" arm. Each instrument also includes an exclusive rear-headstock tribute decal, certificate of authenticity and orange-line black textured vinyl case with a "Fender Amp" logo.
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