Eric Clapton is always happiest with a guitar in his hands, but it's not every day that a long-lost instrument makes its way back to him.
The Fender Telecaster/Stratocaster hybrid Clapton played with his Blind Faith supergroup has long been perhaps his most mysterious guitar.
While the guitar was Slow Hand's No. 1 for Blind Faith's studio album, and its famous debut concert at Hyde Park, when the band — featuring Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech alongside Clapton — disbanded, so did the guitar.
By the time Blind Faith made it to Hyde Park, Clapton had already replaced the neck of his Tele with one from a Stratocaster. Not long afterwards, the neck was installed on Clapton's more famous "Brownie" Strat and the guitar's body disappeared.
Having the guitar back in his hands, in tact, and sounding "better" than before after so many years sure looks like it was a trip for Clapton, who tried to explain how it came to be.
"I think it's beautiful," he says in a video uploaded to YouTube by Guitar Center. "My recollection is that I bought [the original 1964 Telecaster] because it was the first Tele with purfling that I'd ever seen."
Guitar Center partnered with Fender and Clapton to remake the Blind Faith Telecaster as part of the 2019 Crossroads Guitar Collection, proceeds from which will benefit Clapton's Crossroads Centre for substance abuse rehab in Antigua.
As Guitar Center SVP of Merchandising Michael Doyle told Q104.3's QN'A earlier this month, replicating a guitar with no body was a challenging process. In the end, Clapton was thrilled with the final product.
Photo: Getty Images