For decades, Eric Clapton's Blackie Stratocaster has been one of the world's most coveted guitars. Eric sold Blackie on 24 June 2004 at Christie's Auction House, New York to raise funds for Crossroads Centre
Antigua (an alcohol and drug treatment centre) he founded. Blackie sold for $959,500 garnering the record for world's most expensive guitar. Blackie was purchased by the Guitar Center.
In 2006, the Guitar Center, with Eric's permission,
announced it would issue a limited edition of Blackie replicas in connection with Fender Guitars a part of the master-built Tribute Series. A portion of each sale benefits the Crossroads Centre. The guitar has been recreated down to the smallest detail. All
the parts, pickups and electronics are aged and matched to the original, unique specifications of Blackie.
On 17 May, 2006 Eric played and approved the first Blackie Prototype on three songs during his concert at London's Royal Albert
On 24 November 2006 (the day after Thanksgiving in America and known as "Black Friday" as it is the busiest shopping day of the year), 275 Blackie replicas will become available to the general public. One hundred eighty five will
be sold in the United States through the Guitar Center with the remainder sold internationally. The guitars will go on display 10 November at select Guitar Center locations in the United States.