With only 40 available worldwide, the Last Waltz Strat is going to lead the way in Custom Shop’s most prestigious instruments to date. Luthier extraordinaire Todd Krause has taken the iconic bronze axe of The Band’s Robbie Robertson, and studied it relentlessly to recreate this one of a kind beauty.
Robbie took his old ’58 Strat and modified it to suit his personal tastes, whilst suiting his individual playing style. The most notable feature of this guitar is it’s body finish, which was controversially obtained by dipping into liquid bronze. This resulted in a thin bronze skin, allowing the wood grain to show through without tarnishing the guitars tone in any way.
Many consider Robbie’s Strat to be one of the first “HS” Strats, which was thought up entirely by himself. He often found that the middle pick up got in the way of his picking, which is why he usually opted for a Telecaster. He removed the middle pickup and swapped it out for a left-handed single-coil, then re-positioned it next to the bridge pickup. This in turn acted as a humbucker, and resulted in the popular “HS” pickup configuration.
The guitar was famously pictured in Martin Scorsese’s rockumentary “The Last Waltz”, which is largely considered one of the greatest concert films of all time. The film was dubbed as the The Band’s last ever show, and featured dozens of high profile musical guests. Two years later, the Scorsese directed documentary was released, capturing all of the concerts magic with interviews and added studio footage.
Fender Masterbuilder Todd Krause has recreated this iconic Strat, and built a replica to match it as it was in the “The Last Waltz”. Every element has been replicated as accurately as humanly possible, be it the wear beneath the neck, or the tone capacitors and knobs to the same tension as the original.