Leo Fender produced his first Fender Stratocaster guitar in California in 1954. It featured a striking two-tone sunburst finish, with its ash wood grain body, selected for its appearance as well as tonal and lasting qualities, and a neck made of one piece of solid maple, together with the drop-in assembly of the electronics. From 1950s rock 'n' roll through to 1970s punk and 1990s funk, it has played a constant and vital role in the development of music through the latter part of the 20th century and into the 21st. This book traces the history of the Stratocaster and the way in which it developed in countries such as Japan and the UK, as well as its native U.S. Topics covered include Stratocasters from the 1950s to the present, the influence of Jimi Hendrix, modern alternatives to vintage Stratocasters, notable recordings, and common alterations.