May 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water' and what is believed to be the most popular and played guitar riff of all time. ...
... Dah dah DAAH, dah dah da DAAH, dah dah DAAH, dah dah.
Earlier this year, Fender meticulously crafted a tribute to the very instrument that Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore played the riff on, launching a million aspiring guitarists. To this day, one can walk into any local music store and see people of all ages wrestling with the timeless riff. Here's the full story in Fender's own words...
Limited to 2013 production, the limited edition Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster guitar is an exact replica of the black Strat® guitar Blackmore played with Deep Purple in the early '70s, including the recording of seminal album Machine Head and the band's greatest hit single.
"Smoke on the Water" was released on album in 1972 and as a single in May 1973. A major hit, it reached number four on the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States and propelled Machine Head into the top 10 worldwide. The song has appeared on countless "greatest" lists over the past 40 years, including Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time," VH1's "40 Greatest Metal Songs" and Q magazine's "100 Greatest Guitar Tracks."
Deep Purple broke out of Hertford, England, in the late '60s and, along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, is considered a pioneering heavy metal and modern hard rock band. Once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's loudest, the band has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. More recently, Deep Purple was nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction earlier this year.
The Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster is based on his 1968 Strat® and has a two-piece alder body with a lightly worn Black urethane finish, a '68 "U"-shaped maple neck, 7.25"-radius maple fingerboard with medium jumbo frets, and custom '68 Stratocaster pickups hand-wound by Fender legend Abigail Ybarra. Other distinctive features include three-way pickup switching, Schaller® tuners, Micarta nut, four-bolt neck plate stamped with the serial number and the stylized Fender "F," and a vintage-style synchronized tremolo equipped with Blackmore's distinctive custom ¼" arm. Each instrument also includes an exclusive rear-headstock tribute decal, certificate of authenticity and orange-line black textured vinyl case with a "Fender Amp" logo.
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