Published On: Mon, Feb 11th, 2013

Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton ‘Brownie’ Stratocaster

Fende Custom Shop and Guitar Center are releasing 100 ‘Layla’ Stratocasters, all built by Clapton’s own personal masterbuilder

Fender honour Eric Clapton’s “Brownie” Fender Stratocaster with the launch of this Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster.

This rare beauty, famous for its use on seminal 1970 Derek and the Dominos recording “Layla,” will be available through Guitar Center on March 21, 2013, as part of the Guitar Center Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection.

There are only 100 guitars offered worldwide and each “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster is hand-built by Clapton’s personal Master Builder, Todd Krause.

"The guitar is a meticulously crafted replica of the sunburst Stratocaster seen on the back cover of 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, and on the cover of Clapton’s eponymous 1970 debut solo album. After meticulously researching the original guitar at the EMP Museum in Seattle in 2012, Fender Custom Shop experts replicated it in exacting detail—mirroring years of wear and tear down to every nick, scratch and cigarette burn.

While a member of original U.K. “supergroup” Cream, Clapton bought the Stratocaster he affectionately nicknamed “Brownie” secondhand at Sound City in London on May 7, 1967, a few days before the band flew to New York to record second album Disraeli Gears. It was the first Strat he had ever owned; a 1956 model with a two-color sunburst finish and a well-worn maple neck and fingerboard. More than that, “Brownie” marked a move toward a new musical identity for Clapton that would culminate in a highly successful and acclaimed solo career that continues today."


– Three-piece alder body with an off-center seam
– Worn nitrocellulose lacquer finish in two-color sunburst
– One-piece plain-grain maple neck with a custom large “soft V” neck shape
 – 7.25”-radius fingerboard with vintage-style frets
– Custom-shielded ’56 Stratocaster pickups with five-way switching
– Vintage-style synchronized tremolo
– Nickel hardware
– Single-ply parchment pickguard

Each instrument includes a numbered certificate of authenticity hand-signed by Clapton, the 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition box set of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, a black textured-vinyl Derek and the Dominos “Fragile” guitar case, a Fender Custom Shop story and photo album booklet, and a Crossroads Antigua brochure.

Proceeds will benefit Crossroads Centre Antigua, the Caribbean drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility Clapton founded in 1997, as well as the EMP Museum. 

Here's some videos of the guitar in action…

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