Every dent and ding was reproduced as meticulously as possible, even down to the headplug that was airbrushed at the factory to cover a manufacturing flaw. There are only 17 pieces available for all of North America, 40 total in the world. Honoring influential guitarist Robbie Robertson of The Band, the Fender Custom Shop is proud to present The Last Waltz Stratocaster, an exact replica of the bronzed Stratocaster he used during the historic ‘The Last Waltz’ concert.
Features of the Robbie Robertson Last Waltz Limited Edition Stratocaster from the Fender Custom Shop Fender Custom Shop Robbie Robertson Stratocaster Last Waltz Limited Edition 1 of only 17 pieces for North America Available for Pre-Order Now! Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Robbie Robertson Last Waltz Stratocaster Available for pre-order now. On the evening of November 25, 1976 at San Francisco’s famed Winterland concert venue, the lights dimmed, and a hush fell over the crowd as The Band took the stage for one last time before they dissolved into the annals of history.
Pickup swapping, wiring modifications, hardware replacements—nothing was sacred, and everything was tried.
Master Builder Todd Krause replicated this classic instrument as closely as possible to the state it was in when the concert was filmed.
From the NOS tone capacitors and knobs with the same tension as the original, to the airbrushed headplug and “wear beneath the wear” on the back of the neck, every element was reproduced as meticulously as possible.
The pickup configuration reflects Robertson’s own idiosyncratic style.
We could be at that level if we approached this correctly.” The Custom Shop’s earliest products were a hodgepodge of custom finish jobs and one-off designs, including unusual instruments like a Strat/Esquire doubleneck (generally regarded as the first Custom Shop order), a banjo equipped with a pedal-steel-like mechanism, and builds for artist friends like Eric Johnson, Elliot Easton and César Rosas (interestingly, the latter two are both left-handed).
Originally a die-hard fan of the Telecaster, Robertson discovered the Stratocaster’s middle pickup got in the way of his picking stroke, so he simply replaced it with a left-handed pickup, selected to maintain the correct stagger height, and moved it to the bridge position to create his own HS Strat (possibly the first).
The Last Waltz Stratocaster’s gleaming bronze finish was applied “Old World-style”; the guitar was actually dipped into the bronze instead of the contemporary process of forming the bronze around it.
In March 1985, a team of investors led by Fender President Bill Schultz purchased the company from CBS with the intent of returning the Fender name and its instruments to icon status.
One of the first people to assist in this endeavor was an acclaimed builder, repairman and Texas cowboy named Michael Stevens, who Fender approached to head up their newly created Custom Shop in late 1986.
The result—a thin coating that penetrates the body wood, revealing the wood grain through the bronze Not only did Krause precisely replicate the Last Waltz Stratocaster’s unique neck profile and headstock shape, he even matched the “wear beneath the wear” on the fingerboard of the neck.