gr8fullfred wrote:It would be pretty weird for Fender to ever offer an Alligator replica because:
Except for the pickups, Jerry pretty much ditched most of the strat like features:
1)good bye tremolo, hello hardtail. The tremolo (wammy bar) is one of the things that makes a strat a strat. With no tremolo it ceases to become strat like and starts to be more like an SG.
Except if the Strat came out of the factory with a hardtail bridge to begin with. Robert Cray typically plays such an instrument, and Stevie Ray Vaughan's white Strat with the lipstick tube pickups was a hardtail also (though actually, that's not even a Fender, but a copy assembled by guitar repairman Charlie Wirz). There's probably others, but those are the two examples I can think of off the top of my head.
Most other guitarists you see using Strats seem to prefer the tremolo version, even if they don't use the tremolo, like Eric Clapton, for instance. Eldon Shamblin, who played guitar with western swing kingpin Bob Wills, had one of the first Strats built (reputedly the first one with a metallic finish) jammed a piece of wood between the tremolo block and the body to keep it stable and I believe he said "I threw out the handle" (meaning the tremolo arm itself). But Eldon's guitar was a freebie given to him by Leo Fender himself, and it was a new model, so apart from Eldon probably not wanting to appear ungrateful for such a gift, he may also have not known he could have had a hardtail version.
The weird thing about Jerry is he converted a tremolo version of the guitar to non-tremolo. That's literally the only time I've heard of anyone doing that, other than maybe Ry Cooder, who installed a lap steel bridge assembly on one of his Strats and a Bigsby on another one (though I think in the pictures I've seen, he removed the whammy bar from the Bigsby tailpiece).
And as far as Jerry playing stock Strats, didn't he use one for summer of 1972? He's playing one at the Veneta Oregon show and I think at least one other I've seen photos of. And didn't he play a rosewood neck Strat during the February 1970 Fillmore East run, also?