In 1989 or 1990 (I forget which, call it lapses in the synapses) I had had enough of the cheap guitars and fighting with the tuning machines and intonation of my guitar. I had bought a used 1985 Fender Stratocaster as my first guitar and it served me very, very well. But I wanted another guitar; an expensive guitar; a guitar like my idol played.
I wanted a Fender Eric Clapton model Stratocaster.
I also wanted it in bright green. I like green. Sue me.
To quote Dr. Seuss: "I looked around but since (green EC Strat's) are scarce there were none to be found."
So I drove the 2 1/2 hours or so to Kansas City to buy one. At the time I'd saved up every penny from every gig I had ever played in order to afford it. Even then . . . they were expensive.
This isn't that guitar.
Never mind, at first, that the dealership said it didn't come with a case (they were wrong, I knew better) or that they'd sold the tweed case (which still pisses me off) but they gave me a hard plastic one that I still have. They had emblazoned their infernal logo on the case and riveted it there permanently.
A couple weeks in my bass player tripped on my stand and the Strat fell face-first, rather non-dramatically onto the floor. A fall of about 3 inches.
The neck split on the joint to the body along the grain.
I had seen Stevie Ray Vaughan lift himself up by the neck of his guitar on a stage. I had seen Hendrix burn one and then play it again. I had seen far worse with far fewer dings and mine was a mess.
The dealership in Kansas City wouldn't take it back or offer to fix it, either.
So I called Fender up.
Unbeknownst to me I was speaking with a guy on the other end that was not, as I suspected, in customer service. The operator had actually transferred me to one of the luthiers in the Custom Shop. He asked the name of the dealership (who I heard later got reamed for their customer service) and asked me to send him the guitar. In a couple weeks he informed me that the design had an issue . . . too much pressure was being applied to the neck due to a routing error on the body. They fixed it on the saw and he had a body from 1988, a neck from 1989 and then, ultimately, a new body from 1990.
And it came back a Custom Shop Stratocaster. In green, of course.
My older brother, having seen it, affectionately named the guitar "Dot" after the big dot on the green 7-Up cans. The name stuck
Dot has been my go-to guitar since then. 26 years now. Lasted longer than my marriage (not divorced, she passed away at year 18) and older than all my kids.
Dot plays prominently in the sessions that led to the first single, "When the Morning Comes" and will be featured heavily in the next single due soon: "How Much More?"