Stratocaster guitars are known for their distinctive double-cutaway body shape, typically made of solid wood, and are popular among a wide range of musicians due to their versatility and iconic design. Custom-made Stratocasters (like Hamiltone’s) are often tailored to the specific preferences and requirements of the musician, including choices in wood type, pickups, hardware, and aesthetics. One of the Stratocasters is known to guitar connoisseurs under the name of “the Couldn’t Stand the Weather guitar.”
Hamiltone Guitars is a brand known for crafting custom and high-quality guitars. One of their most famous creations is Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Main” guitar, also known as “the Couldn’t Stand the Weather guitar.” This guitar was gifted to Stevie Ray Vaughan by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top in 1984 and became one of his primary stage guitars.
The story behind this guitar involves a five-year wait from the initial order in 1979 until it was finally made for Stevie. Originally intended to have “Stevie Vaughan” on the neck inlay, it eventually featured his full name.
Jim Hamilton, the original luthier behind Hamiltone, had a partnership with someone who was a big SRV fan and helped market the SRV model Hamiltone guitars. They faced high demand, particularly from Japan, and had interest from notable artists like Chris Duarte, Ian Moore, Joe Bonamassa, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
However, Jim Hamilton disappeared, leaving his partner to manage the brand. This led to legal battles over trademarks and an effort to combat counterfeiting in China. The partner decided to continue building Hamiltone guitars to cover expenses.
They emphasized the quality of their guitars, with features like a neck-through-body construction, a 26 1/8-inch scale, jumbo frets, and a choice of ebony or rosewood fingerboards. Their guitars featured book-matched curly maple tops and backs, mother-of-pearl inlays, vintage-style trem bridges, and Hamiltone-designed handwound pickups.
Despite the challenges, the partner wished for Jim Hamilton to return so they could work together again. They also highlighted their valuable find of aged Curly Maple wood, which they considered essential for making quality guitars. The brand offered a range of finishes and specifications for their instruments, catering to discerning guitar enthusiasts.
Hamiltone Stevie Ray Vaughan SRV Custom – Where to Buy?
Well, you might find Hamiltone Stevie Ray Vaughan SRV Custom guitars available for sale from various sources, but they are likely to be rare and may come with a premium price due to their custom nature and association with Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Builder and Gifter Hamiltone Stratocaster
The guitar was crafted by James Hamilton, a guitar builder from Buffalo, NY. It was given to Stevie Ray Vaughan on April 29, 1984. Notably, the guitar was commissioned by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top as a gift to Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Stevie Ray Vaughan was a highly influential American blues guitarist and singer. He was born on October 3, 1954, in Dallas, Texas, and tragically died in a helicopter crash on August 27, 1990, in East Troy, Wisconsin, at the age of 35.
Stevie Ray Vaughan is widely regarded as one of the most talented and accomplished electric blues guitarists in history. He gained fame for his virtuosic guitar skills, intense and passionate playing style, and a deep appreciation for traditional blues music. Vaughan’s playing was heavily influenced by blues legends like Albert King, B.B. King, and Jimi Hendrix.
He formed the band “Double Trouble” and released several critically acclaimed albums, including “Texas Flood,” “Couldn’t Stand the Weather,” and “In Step.” Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music not only revitalized the blues genre but also had a significant impact on the broader rock music scene.
His tragic death in 1990 marked the end of an era in blues and rock music, but his legacy lives on through his recordings, which continue to inspire and influence guitarists and music lovers worldwide. Stevie Ray Vaughan’s contribution to the world of music has solidified his status as a legendary figure in the history of blues and rock.
Hamiltone Stratocaster Design
Unlike many of the other guitars Stevie played, this one features a neck-through-body design. This means that the neck wood extends through the entire length of the guitar body, which can provide excellent sustain and a unique feel.
The guitar has a two-piece maple body. Maple is known for its bright and articulate tone, and it’s often used in electric guitar construction.
The ebony fretboard of the guitar is inlaid with abalone, and it reads “Stevie Ray Vaughan.” This custom inlay was designed by the artist Bill Narum, adding a personalized touch to the instrument.
This guitar holds historical significance as it was a gift from one renowned guitarist, Billy Gibbons, to another, Stevie Ray Vaughan. The unique design elements, such as the neck-through-body construction and custom inlay, make it a distinctive and cherished instrument among fans of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music and guitar enthusiasts.