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The '54 - Buddy Holly Stratocaster found?

The '54 - Buddy Holly Stratocaster found?  ·  Source: YouTube

The famous Fender Stratocaster played and owned by Buddy Holly that disappeared after his death in 1959 has been found, according to a new video documentary called The ’54.

The ’54 – The Story Of A Rock’N’Roll Treasure

Buddy Holly played possibly one of the most famous guitars in Rock’n’Roll history, a Sunburst Fender Stratocaster. The guitar was thought to have been lost on the night of 3 February 1959 in the plane crash that took the lives of Holly, Ritchie Valens and JP Richardson, aka The Big Bopper.

But now – hold on to your hats – it looks as though the guitar may have survived and turned up in Australia!

Is this Buddy Holly's '54 Stratocaster

Is this Buddy Holly’s ’54 Stratocaster?

Gil Matthews

Gill Matthews is an Australian drummer, producer and collector of old Fender guitars. According to the documentary, he may have stumbled upon Buddy Holly’s legendary guitar.

The film, linked below, is called The ’54 and tells the history of one particular 1954 Fender Stratocaster Gil Matthews purchased two decades after the plane crash that claimed Buddy’s life. Experts cited in the film say there is a good chance that the guitar in Matthews’ possession is indeed Buddy Holly’s actual original ’54 Fender Stratocaster.

If this is true, then it is possibly one of the biggest finds in guitar history. You can watch the video below and see all the evidence presented during the film. I’m astonished! If this is real, then it is pretty insane that nobody picked up on this years ago. Wow!


by Jef

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Barry Tooley

Complete bullshit. The Fender Buddy played on the Winter Dance Party tour is displayed in Lubbock


If it’s not Buddy Holly’s guitar who’s guitar was it? It’s been bought in Lubbock, it obviously has been played (before it’s twenty years under a bed), it’s a Strat. Odd!

Carlos FIni

hi folks

It’s not Buddy Strat.
There is alot of diferences, but the most simple is the position o “Round String Guide “. This Strat have it on 2 Kluson ( most normal ). If you see Buddy Strat, it’s between 1st and 2th Kluson.

Over de “F “Logo, not over “e “

John R
John R

You are exactly right there! The best quality pic of Buddy playing his Strat I could find shows that if you line up where the ‘f’ of Fender is and put a line upwards through the string guide, then the line goes between the 5th and 6th string, whereas you do the same with Gil’s Strat and it’s more like between the 4th and 5th string. So it is not Buddy’s Strat, but just an old ‘54 Strat with a different position string guide 👍

Also the wear on the pickup covers are a little different 🤟


I have a 57 Japanese RI Strat and that does NOT have the red in the sunburst. The early Strats were all two colour sunburst. The tri-colour sunburst didn’t appear until probably later, IFAIK. The string tree is an issue for me too.


If Buddy’s Strat was only 5 years old and the frets had little wear, why is the fingerboard so worn down?


I’m pretty sure Buddy’s first Stratocaster that he traded for his ’52-53 Les Paul goldtop and LP Amp, was a 1955 Strat, not 1954. In addition, as photos will show, one of Buddy’s early Strat pickup covers was worn on the bass string side (as well as on the treble string side, as the other 2 covers were), but this ’54 only shows cover wear on the treble sides….. Juss sayin’…..


On more quick thing: I’m pretty sure that the guitars and amps, of the 3 rock stars that died in that plane crash, were not on board the plane. Im sure that small plane was cramped with 4 people in it, and the extra weight may have been a concern. I thought that the instruments were all on the bus with Waylon Jennings, cause when he arrived at the hotel the next day and got the news, he went right back into the bus, where he was surrounded with the late rockers’ gear……. Still, you have a nice Fender electric… Read more »

Buddy Mack

i agree total provable bullshit. if you call Fender historical department you will find that 3 tone sunburst came out for NAMM June 1958. the very first 3 tone’s productions with rosewood was NAMM June 1959. the guitar you are showing is clearly a very tight 3 tone burst in the upper horn and it has a T G maple neck. this is with out any doubt a 1958. granted the Bakelite pickup covers are broken and were only known in use 1953-proto- 1956. Fender even claims that the guitars that were supplies to Buddy were in fact early 1957’s.… Read more »

Buddy Mack

this page was made by a very high level expert. this guitar is named Gloria and was owned by Joe Bonamossa and he got it from Norm Harris at norms Rare Guitars. Notice T G on the end of the neck.