#0001 OF A KIND

A Closer Look At Gilmour's Legendary Strat With The Serial Number 0001.

By Richard Mahon

In this column, I'll be examining Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's gear and playing techniques from a musicians point of view. Please feel free to e-mail me with questions and ideas for future articles at RichM66@Compuserve.com if you feel you have an idea that readers of Spare Bricks might find of interest.

Gilmour has been an avid collector of vintage guitars for many years. His impressive collection includes a 1955 Fender Esquire (seen on the back cover of About Face) with a neck pickup designed and installed by guitar pickup manufacturer Seymour Duncan, a 1957 Fender Stratocaster (Lake Placid Blue with gold hardware, serial #0040.) Gilmour also owns a 1959 Gold Top Les Paul with P-90 pickups that was used to record the solo for "Another Brick In The Wall part 2", a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Custom (the 16th ever made with three pickups,) and many Gretsch guitars from the 1950s.

In addition to the guitars listed, Gilmour is the proud owner of one of guitars true rarities. He owns the Fender Stratocaster that bears the most unique serial number of #0001. It is not the first Stratocaster ever produced despite its unique serial number (Fender serial numbers are not sequential, the 1957 Stratocaster serial #0040 is a perfect example.)

Vintage guitar experts feel the Stratocaster was created between March & May 1954 though the guitar is dated June 1954 at the bottom of the neck. Those who have seen the guitar feel it was a custom order from the Fullerton, California shop. The guitar has an unusual look. The finish appears to be a faded Olympic White. The pickguard is anodized gold, which makes it different from typical Stratocasters--the pickguard is darker than the finish on the body. The guitar also has a customized gold plated tremolo and output jack. The tuners are standard chrome. The pickup covers, volume and tone knobs remain white. They haven't yellowed over the years.

This guitar was originally owned by Seymour Duncan and sold to Pink Floyd's main equipment coordinator and guitar technician Phil Taylor for the meager sum of $900 in the early 70s. David Gilmour purchased the guitar in the late 70s for an unknown sum that allowed Taylor to purchase a house soon afterwards.

Documentation of Gilmour playing this guitar is difficult to find, though footage of a short guitar jam session with Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan) at Abbey Road Studios was released in Europe on a guitar video hosted by Baxter in 1991.

So far, only one recording session with the guitar has been documented. In 1979 recording sessions at Abbey Road Studio 1 for Paul McCartney's "Back To The Egg" album Gilmour can be seen playing the #0001 Stratocaster on the song "So Glad To See You Here." This was a part of Paul McCartney's "Rockestra" project and includes Gilmour on guitar along with players such as Pete Townshend and Hank Marvin.

Gilmour with 0001 on two different occasions. Gilmour with Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Abbey Road Studios 1991 (above.) Gilmour at Abbey Road Studios recording "So Glad To See You Here" 1979 (right.)


Richard Mahon is a staff writer for Spare Bricks