Lot 122: Playboy 40th Anniversary Stratocaster – straight from the pages of Playboy.

Profiles in History

June 8, 2017
Calabasas, CA, US

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Description:

122. Playboy 40th Anniversary Stratocaster – straight from the pages of Playboy and caught in the act of creation. In 1953 Leo Fender retired to his garage shop in Fullerton, California to work on what he called an electrified Spanish guitar, something that could compete with the sound of a saxophone. Halfway across the country, Hugh Hefner sat in his Hyde Park kitchen laying out a magazine for men with the working title Stag Party. It would feature a calendar photo of Marilyn Monroe. Their creations – the Stratocaster and Playboy – would change American culture forever.  James Petersen, who wrote The Playboy Advisor for 20 years, discovered the shared anniversary and mentioned it to friends at Fender. John Page, head of the Fender Custom Shop, came up with the idea of a limited edition, Playboy 40th Anniversary Stratocaster. Almost immediately, it became apparent that the first centerfold would be the heart of the guitar – two of the sexiest shapes in the world – the sleek curves of Marilyn Monroe fit the sultry lines of the Stratocaster. Petersen and Page tossed ideas back and forth – placement of the Rabbit Heads, the official 40th Anniversary logo, and which LeRoy Neiman Femlin to use  on the peghead (the mischievous creature adorned the Party Jokes page for more than 50 years). Included with the guitar are three folders documenting the design process. The Custom Shop faced a deadline – Playboy wanted a prototype to put in the Christmas Gift Guide in the December 1993 issue. This guitar was the result, seen by the more than 4.5 million readers who bought the issue. Between that appearance and the final limited edition run of 175 guitars, certain changes were made: the official LeRoy Neiman Femlin replaced the hand-drawn sketch by Pamelina. The official 40th Anniversary logo replaced an earlier, gothic logo. Two Rabbit Heads replaced the PLAYBOY logo on the 12th fret. The Limited Edition guitars sold out immediately, becoming the second most coveted and collectible of the Custom Shop guitars. This is the prototype as it arrived in Playboy’s office, the summer of 1993 and is the only example of its kind. Comes with original “Fender Custom Shop” embossed leather and canvas gig bag with unused cable and tremolo bar. In pristine un-played condition. Also comes with hard shell transport case. From the collection of James Petersen. $20,000 - $30,000

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After payment has been made in full, buyer to make arrangement to have property packed, insured and shipped at buyer's own expense. For shipping information, please contact Profiles in History at (310) 859-7701. Please remember that the buyer is responsible for all shipping charges from Profiles in History's offices in California (or from off-site location) to the buyer's door.
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