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Forty Years Of The Fender Stratocaster

Last night at our show at The Sheraton Kauai Resort a guy and his daughter come wandering up to us and he asks "do you guys know Mr. Moto?" Yeah, we sure do...wanna hear it? and he nods yes and so we busted in to Mr. Moto which brought a huge smile to his face as he sat on the steps leading up to the restaurant where we play outside near the beach in Poipu. He sat and listened for the whole set and when we took our break he came up to me and started asking questions about surf music, my unusual guitar, and equipment and stuff like that and then mentioned that he used to play with Dick Dale back in the 80's. I'm like wow, you played with Dick Dale? and we started talking about DD having cancer and i told him we invited him to sit in with us when he comes to Hawaii after all his medical stuff is finished next year and he started reminiscing about playing with DD and surf music and equipment in general.
He looked at my tank and asked if it was an original one and i said no it's a re-issue and he said he still had his original tank from the 60's. I asked him what instrument he played and he said he played rhythm guitar with DD but he also played lead with other bands and that he doesn't play "professionaly" any more. Wise ass that i am, i told him to send that original tank over to me since he doesn't need it any more! Thank god he got a laugh out of it and said "no, i think i'll hang on to it!" His name is Richard Smith and he told me that he was a curator at a museum in Southern California and that he does a Leo Fender show there. We spoke for a long time and i really enjoyed his knowledge about everything Fender and Dick Dale. "I notice you play upside down like Dick does" and we talked about that and DD's strings and stuff like that. He agreed, we have a very cool gig for an instrumental band. So, today i "google" him and came up with some neat stuff about him including this article on Stratocasters. Of course i invited him to sit in with us next time he comes over to Kauai and he thanked me and said he would. That also goes for ANY of you out there coming to Kauai. A lot of guys are here on vacation and don't really want to play and we understand that too. Richard was a cool guy and i can't wait to ask him some questions of my own about rhythm guitar playing. Hey, if anybody checks out the Fender show at the Fullerton Museum Center on N. Pamona Ave. in Fullerton, say hi to Richard for us.

Read Richard Smith's article here.

This story has 2 comments.


He wrote THE book on Fender no really... its called the "The Sound Heard Round the world!" It's huge!

He uses Richard R. Smith

Great Story!

surfneptune | 18-Aug-2008 18:51:58 | Flag

Great Story Ron, thanks for sharing.

DannySnyder | 18-Aug-2008 22:09:29 | Flag

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