Back in the 1990s when seven-time Grammy winner John Mayer was cutting his teeth as a rocker, every punk and indie guitar player, including Mayer, was dying to get their hands on a 1963 or 64 Fender Stratocaster, the iconic guitar of American rock. Warm, inviting, and sentimental in its tone, a couple of decades ago, you could get your hands on one of these legends for a few hundred dollars. They were the best, and a bit pricier than your $80 Sears model, but they were something any guitar player could dream of owning. Add them to a cheap Marshall stack and you could blow out the ears of everyone in the neighborhood—and make them like it.

Strats don't come cheap

Now it's 2018, and a Fender Strat, even the most beat-up scrap of headstock on eBay, is never going to be yours unless you have a few thousand extra dollars lying around; all those indie rockers stockpiling them over the years has driven the price to insane heights.

In fact, a Sunburst is going to run you more like twenty-five grand.

Meanwhile, Mayer has been up, down, and all over the place — from serving as Taylor Swift's disposable boy toy, to inexplicably holding out the hand of peace to the unbearable and erratic Justin Bieber — and made a reputation for himself as not just a soft rock pretty boy, but as the guy with the biggest mouth in music. He took a year off, in 2013, because of a career-threatening throat problem, and came back in 2014, only to annoy everyone the entire time.

But whatever else you want to say about Mayer, he has come through on the promise he's been making for a few years of putting the Stratocaster — or something very much like it — back into the hands of the average guy or girl who wants the ultimate American rock guitar sound (well, except for the Rickenbacker).

It's called the Silver Sky

Mayer and Paul Reed Smith

Working hard for two and a half years with the fabled guitar makers at PRS (Paul Reed Smith), Meyer has created the Silver Sky, a guitar that looks precisely as cool as a Stratocaster from the stage, without costing more than a car or being full of termites from the pawn shop. You'll have to add all the beer spills, autographs, dings, love bites, and other marks of character yourself, but that's the fun part. A few modifications have been made to get better sustain and a more dependably warm sound, but from the first strum, it pretty much sounds awesome. Here's a vid to get a feel for its look and some specifics on the specs:

And here's Mayer geeking out on one of the original Strats:

He might be a bad boy, but you're going to thank him when you get your hands on the Silver Sky. A guy who brings you the best fake Stratocaster that's ever been created can't be all bad.