This guitar is unique to say the least. Here's the short version of the legend of this guitar. FZ and JH were friends. They played at the Miami Pop Festival. This guitar was likely torched at the Astoria in London and it's remains were given to FZ in Miami by JH's guitar tech.
FZ rebuilt the guitar using only the body. The neck and electronics were destroyed by the fire. He added custom electronics - preamps and parametric eqs - in the mid 70's. He routinely played it on stage and in the studio from that point until the early 80's. It's very likely the Stratocaster heard on the legendary "Watermelon in Easter Hay."
It then disappeared for a spell. I found it in pieces under a staircase at the UMRK studio. I told Frank I found it and asked if he would like me to put it back together for him. He said, "Sure." The electronics were missing and the neck was damaged so I chose to rebuild it as a stock instrument from the original time period of the late 60's. Jay Black a master builder at the Fender custom shop built a fantastic neck with a flipped head stock - a nod to Jimi - and I procured some custom wound Lindy Fralin single coil pick ups for it.
I got it all finished as a birthday gift for Frank. When he opened the case he smiled and and played it for a while. A little later he said, "You know what, you should have this guitar." Of course I smiled in disbelief.
Guitarist friends of mine lucky enough to have had the chance to play this guitar all spoke of having goosebumps or having the hair on their forearms rise in salute. It's an experience. Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced?
I've begun the process of restoring the Hendrix/Zappa guitar to it's 1977 functionality and appearance. This is around the time when Frank first unleashed it on tour and on recordings. It had some cosmetic changes in the early 80's as well. The neck and pickguard assembly changed.
What I currently have restored is the '77 pickguard assembly and I have a duplicate of the 80's neck Frank had. I'm in the process of building a rosewood neck like the '77 photo below. I will keep you all posted when it's completely restored.
Here's a link to a video of me discussing the finished guitar with Norm Harris from the world famous Norman's Rare Guitars shop in Tarzana California.
Here it is sitting on my kitchen table along side the pickguard assembly I put on it nearly 20 years ago and the flipped headstock Fender neck.