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Dave Murray talks about his 1957 Fender Stratocaster (short article)

Discussion in 'Maiden Chat' started by Forostar, May 8, 2008.

  1. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Iron Maiden Dave Murray’s 1957 Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar

    “There’s a little bit of history behind the guitar,“ says veteran Iron Maiden guitarist Dave Murray of the 1957 Strat he used to produce the wailing sounds heard on each of Iron Maiden’s first eight albums. “It used to belong to Paul Kossoff of Free. I bought it in 1976, a year after he died. I saw it advertised in an English magazine called Melody Maker, and I went down and checked it out. I got the serial numbers to make sure that it was his guitar!

    “He used that guitar on a lot of Free. I actually saw him many years ago using it during a Free performance of ‘My Brother Jake’ on an English television show called Top of the Pops. They were one of my favorite bands, and I had to have that guitar because it belonged to Kossoff.

    “I paid about $1,400 for it, which in 1976 was quite a bit of money. But I didn’t care. I just sold everything I had so I could get it. And I used it from then on. It just felt like I was holding a piece of magic, because he used this guitar”

    Aside from replacing the original Fender pickups with DiMarzio humbuckers (“to fatten up the sound a bit”), Murray did nothing to alter the maple-neck, black-and-white guitar. “I used it on tour,” he continues. “It was my main guitar, and I played everything with it: lead and rhythm, clean stuff, heavy stuff. It was real versatile.”

    Nevertheless, Murray gave his trusty Stratocaster an honorable discharge from active duty several years ago. “I used to guard it with my life,” he says. “But it did start to get a little knocks in it just from general wear and tear. So I decided to retire it. It’s sitting in my mother’s house now, though I do pick it up now and again.”

  2. InfiniteDreamer

    InfiniteDreamer Trooper

    Great article Forostar, thanks.

    Only an extra comment Dave forgot to mention...

    Besides de DiMarzio SuperDistortion pickups he did another mod to that 57 Strat...he switched the bridge. It's a Kahler Pro...and that's exactly what I still don't have on my own Murray 1957 Fender Strat project ! Damn bridge !

  3. KostamojeN

    KostamojeN Prowler

    Hi guys (first time poster here :) )

    Actually I've been doing a little research myself on this, recently. If you watch Live After Death, you can see that these are actually two guitars. He plays them both.

    The Kossoff guitar has a maple fretboard.
    This one has a rosewood. He uses these 2 almost exclusively on LaD. :)

  4. matic22

    matic22 H is shorter for God.

    And yet the picture features Dave's 64 strat with a Kahler (This guitar features a Floyd today) :)
  5. KostamojeN

    KostamojeN Prowler

    I believe that was a newer build.

    I read somewhere that it was his signature model that was modded with a Kahler.

    Check out LaD look at the colour of the fretboard changing between songs :)
  6. KostamojeN

    KostamojeN Prowler

    Here's the rosewood at Long Beach.

    That may be the '64, not sure.

    The Kossoff is the '57, I believe. :)

    Attached Files:

  7. matic22

    matic22 H is shorter for God.

    On the picture is a 1964 Stratocaster with Kahler tremolo. Today this guitar sports a Floyd Rose. Colin Price confirmed that it is a 64, when he had it in the shed in 2013. It has a rosewood fingerboard., the original guitar has a maple one. The 57 Kossoff strat had some kind of Kahler during the beginning of World Slavery Tour (Eastern Europe) and the making of 2MTM and Aces High videos, but it was removed soon. The Kossoff strat probably also sported a different neck during that time, because it needed a locking nut.

    Here is the 64 Strat (middle) in 2013 along with the Floyd Rose Classic Strat with swapped pickguard (left) and the original Dave Murray model prototype Strat (right):

    And this is the 1957 Kossoff strat:
  8. KostamojeN

    KostamojeN Prowler

    The maple neck (The Kossoff) certainly had a standard Fender trem during LaD.

    Attached Files:

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  9. KostamojeN

    KostamojeN Prowler

    Oops sorry. We seem to have cross posted. I see you have a pic with 3 similar guitars. That does change the position a bit. As it's dated to 2013, I can't say what happened in between.

    Also, the LaD Kahler guitar has the locking nut on the headstock of a normal bone-nut neck....

    Attached Files:

  10. matic22

    matic22 H is shorter for God.

    The left guitar is Dave's black Floyd Rose Strat that he has played since 1999. It has a Hot Rails/JB jnr/Black Hot Rails pickguard, but in 2013 Dave experimented with DiMarzios in rehearsals, but swapped back to Hot Rails for tour, The right guitar is the Signature model prototype, with added Floyd Rose. It was used as a secondary guitar in 2009.

    Here is the Kossoff strat with some kind of locking tremolo. Mind you, that in this picture it probably sports a different neck. This system was on the guitar only for approx. 2 months. It was swapped back to the standard tremolo and original neck during World Slavery Tour.
  11. KostamojeN

    KostamojeN Prowler

    If it's a different neck, can we be sure it's not a different guitar completely? There's not much in the way of identifying scratches and dings on the body...

    So glad I started this chat, I'm learning a lot :)
  12. matic22

    matic22 H is shorter for God.

    If you watch Behind the Iron Curtain, there is a shot of Dave's guitars and there are only 2 black strats. There is also a gear list from World Slavery tour and there is no mention of a third black strat, only Lados, Ibanezes, Deans, Gibsons and a white Strat. So I assume it is the same guitar with a swapped neck (there are no holes from the locking nut on the original neck on tour photos after, you can see the holes from Kahler locking nut on the picture with the 64 few posts up).
    KostamojeN likes this.
  13. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Just in case: this pic is not from the World Slavery Tour but from the recordings of the Aces High video. Made during the tour, but that doesn't automatically mean that everything that can be seen here was used live as well, with 100% certainty.
    KostamojeN likes this.
  14. matic22

    matic22 H is shorter for God.

    Yeah I know that. But during Behind The Iron Curtain shows the 57 strat still sported a locking tremolo.
  15. KostamojeN

    KostamojeN Prowler

    Ok, so you guys are saying that the Kossoff '57 strat had a Kahler before Long Beach but reverted back to the fender trem for the Long Beach shows...? Right?

    The Kahler strat with the rosewood neck (and oddly positioned locking nut on the headstock) is which? 64 strat?
  16. KostamojeN

    KostamojeN Prowler

    Interesting. I wonder why they'd go to the trouble of moving the lock nut once ut was in and set up nicely...
  17. matic22

    matic22 H is shorter for God.

    Yes to both. You can see the holes from the Kahler nut on the photo of the 64 I posted before.

    The 57 Strat was probably reverted back somewhere during the European part of the tour. As I said earlier, the neck was probably changed back to the original one too.
    The locking nut on the 64 was changed because the Floyd locking nut is far superior to the Kahler one. The Floyd one is a nut itself, while the Kahler one just locks the strings behind the standard non locking nut, which can cause tunning issues.
  18. KostamojeN

    KostamojeN Prowler

    Did not know that was standard on Kahler trems, just thought it was odd :)

    Presumably they had to chop out (and then replace) some wood for that? I believe that's what happened to David Gilmour's strat a couple of years earlier cos he tried Kahler too briefly.
  19. matic22

    matic22 H is shorter for God.

    The Kahler nut only requires drilling two holes in the headstock. The Floyd nut requires removing the standard nut and chopping some wood to install it.
  20. KostamojeN

    KostamojeN Prowler

    I've heard about Kahler bridges (got the impression they were popular in the 80's) but never actually encountered one before.

    Floyds I am familiar with.

    The wood chopping I was referring to was for the Kahler bridge itself.

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