It’s always a magnificent moment when art and science come together to form a greater entity, and today I’m going to share with you the story of such magnificence in the being of my new Black Strat — the David Gilmour of Pink Floyd famous Black Strat — that I just purchased from Troy Benns at Wildwood Guitars. The beauty to be held is down below.
David Gilmour is one of our greatest guitarists.
He knows how to make his black Stratocaster bend a mood and blend beliefs into a whole new way of interacting with the world.
That is the mark of a great musician and the brand of a red-hot mystical talent: Gilmour leaves us greater than he found us.
You would think a guitar is just a guitar. It’s just a cobbling
together of wood and hardware and electronics and that each one made is
no different than the one that came before it.
I have learned,
thanks to the intervention of Troy Benns, that not all guitars are
There are both subtle and drastic differences between
identically crafted guitars that the eye rarely catches but that a trained ear and hand can always
When I decided to buy my David Gilmour Fender Black Strat — the standard NOS version, not the relic’ed one that replicates David’s actual guitar — Troy offered to play the Gilmour Strats he had in stock at Wildwood to find a “Killer” one for me.
It was then I understood the value of having your own Guitar Guy on your side and on scene. Troy could do what my eyes on the Wildwood website could not: Hear the tone and feel the vibration of the various Black Strats in stock.
Troy chose a killer Black Strat for me, and when it arrived yesterday, I was awestruck. Here’s part of the email I shot off to Troy:
The Gilmour arrived today, Troy.
I am shocked and stunned.
Can’t stop playing it. It looks, feels and sounds absolutely eerie. That’s precisely what guitar should do: Transform you.
You not only picked a killer Gilmour for me, you found a divine one. I was toodling around with it right out of the case and I said out loud to myself, “This sounds so fantastic and loud.” Then, I realized… the guitar wasn’t plugged in! This guitar is so well-made AND LOUD it sings in the essence of its wood like an acoustic without amplification! It is soooooooo easy to play. Shocking!
I should buy two of these Gilmours because this one is just that good — but I know I’d be tempting The Gods to try to replicate my luck with this one. The difference between this Black Strat and my Custom Shop Clapton is huge. In every way — playability, case candy value, neck, body, pups, string, action — the Gilmour stuns the Clapton out of the water. Shocking! I now have a new all-time favorite guitar and I’ve played it less than half a day.
Yes, I was hyperbolic and breathless — I still am! — but wait… I wasn’t done. Here’s part of the follow up reply I sent to Troy a few hours later in the day:
The guitar amazes. It’s like it controls me and teaches me how to
play it. Shocking. The EJ [Eric Johnson] strat you sold me [last week] is very close for that
kind of directed musicianship, but the Gilmour is truly something out
of this world. Scary good. I thank you again and again for taking
the time to find the right one for me and them embedding bits of your
talent in the wood.
So there you have it: My Gilmour Black Start plays me instead of me playing it — and that is an experience few people in the world are ever able to live once — let alone along a lifetime of plucking strings that vibrate wood.
I’m grateful to Troy Benns for taking extra time and effort to find me the right guitar and I also thank Fender and David Gilmour for letting us ordinary mortals in on the secrets of The Black Strat.
I have now learned to tell Troy what guitar I want and then let his hands and ears do the choosing for me.
The proof is in the playing and with my Black Strat there’s no stopping the promise of greatness the guitar offers me in my own hands. This David Gilmour Strat is my blessing in black.