2006 Fender Stratocaster Mexican Standard, as made famous by Alex Turner
When Arctic Monkeys made their ground-breaking debut with Whatever People Say That's What I'm Not, this is the guitar that Alex Turner played. In Arctic White, of course.
The Fender Stratocaster. Ever since its introduction in 1954, the number one choice for so many of the world's greatest guitar Gods, professionals, semi-professionals, bedroom enthusiasts. and fans. For many, it's the look and sound of this guitar that starts them off on a lifetime's relationship with the guitar, from beginner to wherever their imagination and their dedication takes them. And it's for exactly that reason that this guitar makes it into the collection. It's a Mexican Standard, it's not a hugely prized guitar in its own right, but it just goes to show how every guitarist starts somewhere. 9 times out of 10, any Googled video of Arctic Monkeys playing their first album in the year of its release will have Alex Turner playing this Mexican Strat. He's gone on through an Aladdin's Cave of the top-end and rare guitars since then, but this is where it all started . . . and what a way to start!
This Mexican Standard Stratocaster is not unique. Thousands of these have come out of the Fender Ensenada plant since its launch in 1987 and its rebuild following fire in 1994.
It doesn't even come with a hard case, just the padded Fender-branded gig bag that Fender introduced for their lower-priced models.
But it is a Fender Stratocaster, one of the most iconic guitars in the world, and a guitar that many players starting out on their journeys aspire to play and own.
What makes this particular one special is that one of those aspiring guitarists used a Mexican Stratocaster in Arctic White, to write, record and perform one of the most ground-breaking albums of the noughties - a vitality, a freshness, and a song-writing craftsmanship that has stood the test of time.
Every great guitarist starts somewhere. And it's not the quality or price of the guitar that matters, but the talent that the greatest guitarists and song-writers bring to it.
See & Hear It In Action
Strike A Pose. You can't get much better for a promo shoot than Arctic White and a bit of reverence.
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor: That first song, that first video, that guitar, when Arctic Monkeys electrified early-noughties idleness with heart-poundingly magnificent guitar-based songwriting. Check out any video from that first album, and 9 times out of 10, Alex Turner is giving his all with that Mexican Strat.
Sources & Links
Music Radar Reviews 2008 Mexican Standard: Yes, it's a couple of years later, but the key features remain the same, including the newly introduced bridge block.
San Francisco Guitar Tech Reviews 2008 Mexican Standard: And, despite any reservations about this being at the low-end of the Stratocaster pedigree: "Looking at it for what it symbolizes, it’s absolute perfection. It’s what gets people to start playing guitar. Priced just low enough to tempt people, and named perfectly so people will want one". Which, in my imagination, might be what Alex Turner was thinking when he bought his . . .
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