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After graduating high school, John Mayer worked at a gas station for over a year to earn enough cash to buy a 1996 Stevie Ray Vaughan signature Stratocaster.
Mayer shows it off and talks about it in this video of him in the studio, starting around the 0:24 mark:
“…this one I bought with the money that I had made working at a gas station. I traded in a Takamine 12-string and a Mesa Boogie distortion pedal. I think I paid like nine hundred bucks as the difference. So I bough this in 1996.
This thing has so many little stories on it. [points to the bridge] This was replaced, I remember the day I had to order a replacement - I was in Atlanta in like 1998… 1999 maybe. I had a replacement put in there because I broke the whammy bar off in here. [John Mayer points to the tip of the headstock] I got that from hitting drums cymbals with it. I thought it was really cool to hit drum cymbals. … I took this backplate to the mall in 1997, and it says John Mayer 1997 before I went to Berkeley. [Mayer points to the ‘JCM’ engraving on the lower half of the back of the Strat] I did that with the engraving gun at the Berkeley dorms. JCM. [Mayer points to the back mid-point of the neck] And then this is from sanding it down - and playing - but mostly sanding it down with 400 grit sandpaper.
This is the guitar that my signature model is based off of, in terms of the pickups and also the neck shape. This has been in my bedroom when I was 19 practicing guitar playing, and Madison Square Garden, and Tokyo, and television shows… this is the representation of all the places I've been. This guitar started in my bedroom, when I had just gotten out of high school.”
The source and notes on this submission are correct.
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