Ok I play a Strat with what im pretty sure is a swamp ash body. its pretty heavy and i have a bad back. i'm in two bands now and have to actually play up on stage fairly often, and the wheight is getting to be a nuisance. what lighter body woods should i look for in a new strat?
I thought ash was lighter than alder, but I could be wrong.

Before buying a new guitar, try getting a very wide strap, like 2". That way, it lowers the pressure, so it might alleviate your back pain.
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Alder is a pretty light wood - Mexican and American Standards are made of alder (some Americans are swap ash too, I think.) I don't know how heavy ash is, but alder is really light. I once picked up a Strat and thought it was plastic and hollow inside.....
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okay ill look into alder. thanks guys.
i already have a pretty wide strap, not 2 but about 1.5 inches.

Contoured Neck Heel
7-1/4" radius fretboard

these both help the comfyness of the neck. a LOT. especially chording with the radius, and the high fret access with the contoured heel.
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Those Aerodynes are sweet. I almost bought one a year ago. They are a lot lighter, and more comfortable to play. Also look for a used older one (Black w/ aged white body binding). Sounded pretty nice too. The only issue I found was the neck felt small, but thats a preference thing.