Jimmy Smith’s 16 feet long Fender Stratocaster with a real Strat for scale.

When I first saw the giant, 16 foot long, exact replica of a Fender Stratocaster that Jimmy Smith built, I was so impressed with the quality and workmanship of the monolithic guitar sculpture, the question of why would Jimmy go to all the trouble to build it never crossed my mind. It’s art pure and simple with so much care and attention to every detail of the iconic guitar first produced by Leo Fender’s electric instrument company in 1954. Buddy Holly bought a Fender Stratocaster in 1955. When Holly played in England in 1958, the shape and sound of Holly’s solid body electric guitar mesmerized John Lennon and Paul McCartney, providing inspiration to the two teenagers that would eventually change the course of contemporary music. We can only imagine what Buddy Holly would have achieved if he had lived, but in that short time before his untimely death in 1959, Buddy Holly unleashed the Fender Stratocaster on the world, and made a significant contribution to the rock & roll revolution. The Stratorcaster is memorialized at both Buddy Holly’s and Jimmy Hedrix’s grave sites. Holly’s Stratocaster is carved on his headstone, and there is a sculpture of Jimmy Hendrix’s stratocaster, strung for his left handed playing, at his grave site. To me there is no mystery about why a master craftsman like Jimmy Smith would build a monolithic sculpture of Leo Fender’s Stratocaster. A stratospheric work a art to commemorate a work of stratospheric art.

My friend Joel trying to play the big Strat.
Jimmy’s artistry and attention to detail is exquisite.



Jimmy has to keep it in his shop. When he puts it out in front of his shop, The Strat Academy, people climb on it for photos and selfies and it gets vandalized.


Stay tuned, and you will learn more about Jimmy Smith and the Strat Academy in upcoming posts.



19 thoughts on “Stratospheric

  1. Thanks for this great post, Tim. It brings back the days when I was a guitar player, on a Stratocaster model. Looking forward to read your next posts about Jimmy Smith and the Strat Academy. Have a nice weekend!

  2. Amazing! Love this post. My hubby has a Strat. As it is vintage, and the frets are worn way down, he rarely plays it. He has lots of guitars that are new(er) that he can play. I’m going to show this to him!

  3. Wow. You know people are so odd I can’t imagine someone vandalizing something so amazing. People always want selfies with things like this. I can’t believe how big it is. Excellent photos.

    • I don’t understand while people vandalize anything, but it seems vandals will go after most anything. Thanks, Michelle.

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