Watch Tom Morello and Nile Rodgers lead an all-star lineup of guitarists through an all-shred instrumental cover of Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)

Screengrabs from the Fender video showing guitarists shredding
(Image credit: Fender)

The first known Fender Stratocaster dates back to the spring of 1954, and the manufacturers are celebrating the instrument's 70th anniversary in the way that most music-related anniversaries are celebrated these days: through commerce, and a range of guitars that trumpet "seven decades of timeless tone and iconic style". 

They've also made a video, in which a number of well-known endorsers of the Stratocaster shred their way through an instrumental  cover of Jimi Hendrix's psychedelic classic Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)

The video, which appears to be set atop a carpeted plinth in some lush pastureland, finds Tom Morello, Nile Rodgers, Ari O'Neal, Mateus Asato, Rei, Tash Sultana, Jimmie Vaughan, Rebecca Lovell, Tyler Bryant and Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil finding a fleet-fingered path through the song, and it's all snappily edited together to reflect the different tones generated by the various guitarists. 

Fender have also filmed a number of clips in which the musicians discuss their own Stratocasters, including Chic founder Rodgers, whose 1960 Stratocaster, known as 'The Hitmaker', is famous as an instrument used on countless hit songs and albums.

“I got my Stratocaster in 1973 when I realised that it was what my sound was missing, and once I did it changed my life 1000%," says Rodgers. "I have been able to write the jazz-influenced dance-disco funk-pop songs that people have loved for decades as well as rock, country, folk and EDM collaborations thanks to my Strat."

“Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Jeff BeckRitchie BlackmoreStevie Ray Vaughan, Andy Gill of Gang of Four and Brother Wayne Kramer of the mighty MC5 have all wielded the Strat in inspirational ways,” says Morello. “My ‘Soul Power’ Strat allowed me to unlock a new era of sound and fury in Audioslave."

Fender's 70th anniversary Stratocaster collection is available now.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.