James Wilsey and Four Fender Stratocasters

James Wilsey posted this on his Facebook page yesterday. Pretty cool!

All of the Stratocasters I used in over 13 years playing with Chris Isaak.

I started with the black one, it’s a 1966 I purchased in Missouri for $200. When we got a record out and started to tour, I got the sunburst 50s made in Fullerton. They never quite matched very well sound wise, the sunburst was always darker sounding.

In 1987 I decided to retire those and go with a matching pair of reissues. I talked to my friends at Fender and had them hold the next two white 62 reissues. I got them to be less concerned about wear and tear (and potential loss) I’d be facing on the road again. And I wanted two that matched better sound wise, and might as well match the color too.

I went down to Fullerton and picked them up in the warehouse, it was a fun day. The guitars were really nice and sounded great. I could not tell them apart. In the studio, I did a A/B test of the new guitars against the old ones. The new ones sounded better by unanimous vote.

I recorded the next album with the new white guitars, “Wicked Game” used one of them, not sure which.



Do you have tinnitus? I do. It made me quit playing the guitar in the late 80s. It’s estimated that 50% of all professional musicians have tinnitus.

I play guitar at very low volume now. A lot of time I play unplugged. Do you know how loud you are? Download this great decibel meter app. Anything above 85 is hurting your ears. Wear ear protection. And encourage your kids to protect their ears–no ear buds!

Join the American Tinnitus Association. It’s a great organization. If you can’t afford to join (it’s only $40 per year) at least like them on Facebook, and you will get lots of cool updates and articles like some of the ones linked below.

Want to learn more about tinnitus? Here’s a great article on ABC.

Read this interview with Dr. Fatima Husain. She’s a total badass and part of a wave of new researchers working every day to find a fix for our condition. She thinks we are ten years from a significant breakthrough. So that is good news.

I will continue to update this post with new links so check back from time to time.

Pete Townshend–tinnitus poster boy: