Yngwie Malmsteen Recalls Receiving A Signature Fender Before Eric Clapton

Yngwie Malmsteen recently gave an interview to Music Radar in which he remembered the time he received a Fender signature Stratocaster way before Eric Clapton.

The talented guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen is known for his neoclassical approach to heavy metal, while Eric Clapton is a world-renowned guitar player who has been a source of inspiration to many. So, both are important figures in the music scene despite their different styles and sound. Therefore, they are also among those honored by Fender with their own unique signature Strats.

However, there has been a long-debated issue about who was the first to be given a Fender signature guitar. Most sources claim that Eric Clapton received the signature Strat first, while others state Malmsteen was the first Fender approached to produce a signature guitar model. In the interview with Music Radar, Yngwie Malmsteen said that back when he first emerged on the music scene, every guitar company approached him to create a guitar together.

According to Malmsteen, Fender had never given a guitar to any other guitarist back then, but they approached him to make one with his name on it. Moreover, Malmsteen revealed that Fender came out with a 30th-anniversary guitar this year, which is an exceptional guitar model. Malmsteen then explained the guitar’s characteristics and said Fender only did those guitars in the 1968 and 1969s.

During the conversation, Yngwie Malmsteen told Music Radar the following:

“It’s f*cking crazy! When I first came on the scene, I had every company in the world saying, ‘You want to make a guitar with us!’ Marshall and Fender weren’t really doing that with anybody. Fender never gave a guitar to anybody. Ever. They gave one to me, and then they said they wanted to make one with my name on it.

By the way, they came out with a 30th-anniversary guitar this year. It’s a special model. It has a ’68 neck on it. It’s got a maple neck, but it’s got a glued-on maple cap fingerboard. They only did that in ’68 and ’69. For a year and a half, they made those guitars.”

Both Eric Clapton and Yngwie Malmsteen’s signature guitars were released at the same time period, in the late 1980s, so there’s not a clear-cut explanation about who was the first. Malmsteen has been claiming he was the first one to get a signature model for a long time, and as it seems, he is standing behind his word.