NPR recently talked about the venerable Fender Stratocaster in Weapon of Choice: Why the Stratocaster Survives:
The Fender Stratocaster turned 60 last year. When it came out of the factory in 1954, it didn’t sound — or look — like any other guitar. Leo Fender’s small company was looking to improve the Telecaster, its groundbreaking solid-body electric, first introduced three years earlier. But far more than a tweak here or there, Fender created an entirely new instrument that’s become almost synonymous with the phrase “electric guitar.”
It really is amazing how much the Stratocaster changed the landscape of guitars in the 50s and 60s. It’s hard to imagine a modern electric guitar without the legacy of the Stratocaster paving the way.
I can certainly appreciate and enjoy the simplicity of the Telecaster, but for me the Stratocaster will always be my primary musical weapon of choice. I’m glad Leo kept tinkering and listening to players. I think he designed the perfect guitar with the Stratocaster.