We all know that we lost an extraordinary guitar player when Steve Ray Vaughan died, but how many know history of his guitar "Lenny"? Most people know that he named his 1965 Fender Stratocaster after his wife, Lenora "Lenny" Vaughan, but where did he get it and where is it now? Sit tight, you’re about to find out.
The Fender Stratocaster is just a classic guitar. Whether it bares 3 single coil pickups, two humbuckers or the combination of the two, it will always be a historic guitar and collectors will seek vintage originals and pay top dollar for them.
In 1980, before SRV had made a big name for himself in the world of music, he, his wife and a few others saw a quite weathered 1965 Fender Stratocaster in a pawn shop in Austin Texas. The price on the guitar was $350 and was much more than SRV could afford. His wife, Lenora, whom he met a few years earlier, knew that this guitar really caught his eye and was something special to him. Lenora and seven friends through together the money and bought the guitar for SRV for his 26th birthday. The same evening it was given to him he wrote the song "Lenny" and ultimately the guitar was named after her as well.
SRV had only two guitars that really meant something to him. One was called Number One and the other was Lenny. SRV would mainly play these two guitars because they meant something to him and Lenny would get played for certain songs as would Number One. Can we ever know the history of Lenny before it was purchased for SRV? The real question is ‘do we really need to’?
A little over four years ago on June 24, 2004 Lenny was put up for auction and was sold to Guitar Center for $629,500. A 1965 Fender Stratocaster is said to be wroth close to 20k depending on the condition and authenticity. However a 1965 Fender Stratocaster owned and played by Stevie Ray Vaughan is unquestionably priceless. Fender is now producing limited edition reissues of "Lenny" in their custom shop in tribute of Stevie ray Vaughan.
An interesting note: "Lenny" was autographed by legendary baseball player Mickey Mantle in 1985 when SRV and Lenny meet Mickey Mantle at the Houston Astrodome where Mantle was there to pitch the first ball and SRV was there to play The National Anthem which he had never learned to play prior to that time. Below is a video where you can see Stevie Ray Vaughan playing "Lenny" in the song "Lenny" live at El Mocambo.
Image Source: Guitar Centerr