Blog Archives

Listen: Tom Wheeler on the Flo Guitar-Enthusiasts

Tom Wheeler, author of The Fender Archives talks with Jeff Floro and Scott Sill of The Flo Guitar-Enthusiasts, an LA Talk Radio Show. In the podcast, the hosts and Wheeler talk about all things guitar!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00103138Welcome to The Fender Archives – part history, part archive, part scrapbook, and part treasure chest. You are invited along on a research expedition, a sort of archeological dig through several sites: file folders in Fender’s offices; the family archives of Don Randall; author/curator Richard Smith’s collections; the photo galleries of John Peden and Fretted Americana; jammed metal cabinets in a sweltering warehouse near the Corona factory; and the home of the late Bob Perine in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, just blocks from the beach where he and Ned Jacoby took now-iconic photos of high school kids, surfboards, palm trees, and chrome-clad rocket-ship guitars in Shoreline Gold and Daphne Blue and Candy Apple Red.

The Fender Archives looks at the company from the inside. Handwritten letters, production totals, personal logbooks, in-house memos, Leo Fender’s drawing-board sketches, financial reports-such documents are freed here from long confinement in cardboard boxes and filing cabinets, dusted off, and promoted from background to spotlight.

The Fender Archives sheds new light on the inspirations for revolutionary instruments and amplifiers, their sometimes difficult births and growing pains, the environment into which they were unleashed upon the world, and the motivations and personalities of key players.

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Win a Martin D18 Acoustic

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Guitar Player and Rolling Stones Gear have teamed up to give you a chance to Win the Brands of the Rolling Stones! Now you can own some of the major brands of equipment the Rolling Stones played including Fender, Martin, Framus, Zemaitis, Gretsch, and Vox in this exciting new sweepstakes! They are also giving away the new book Rolling Stones Gear: All the Stones’ Instruments from Stage to Studio by Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost.

And to wrap up this amazing contest, we present this gorgeous D18 Martin acoustic! The contest ends this Friday, so if you haven’t entered yet now is your chance. Don’t pass up this opportunity to win the brands of the Rolling Stones!

D-18

Win Charlie Watts’ Gretsch Drum Kit

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Guitar Player and Rolling Stones Gear have teamed up to give you a chance to Win the Brands of the Rolling Stones! Now you can own some of the major brands of equipment the Rolling Stones played including Fender, Martin, Framus, Zemaitis, Gretsch, and Vox in this exciting new sweepstakes! They are also giving away the new book Rolling Stones Gear: All the Stones’ Instruments from Stage to Studio by Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost. If nothing else, enter to win a set of gorgeous Gretsch drums just like Charlie used to love! Read below for an excerpt about the kit from Rolling Stones Gear. 

 

Charlie used his 1950s maple Gretsch kit and included an Italian UFIP 18-inch Chinese cymbal. Later, when UFIP was Gretsch RollingStonesDrumsGerman-owned, Richard King (who supplied Charlie with a lot of his gear) remarked: “[Charlie] did accept an endorsement from an Italian cymbal company UFIP. He likes their 18-inch China crash cymbal, and when the new German owner sent Charlie sixty to try out, only two were up to his standards.” Charlie later revealed: “I play a UFIP cymbal. I play it the Chinese way, with the edges up. I like them because they’re very trashy. They do tend to crack, and I can only drill them so much before they lose the sound and go dead. I’ve kept them all though, for thirty years.” Charlie, not a man of many changes, shed further light on his cymbals, a setup that has remained steady throughout the years: “John DeChristopher at 
Zildjian is always sending me cymbals. He’s a
lovely guy, but I never use them right away! I 
choose the ones I like, put them away, and let
 them marinate. For me, finding a cymbal is about
going into a second-hand shop and digging. I 
prefer one of Shelly Manne’s old cymbals to ten 
new ones. Even a guy in a dance band or a club;
 HIS cymbals get a sound and a look about them.
I don’t like new drums either, and I HATE new
shoes.” He continued: “I like things that are 
well made, like Zildjians, but that are fifty years
old. I use an old 18-inch flat ride, and I’m scared
 stiff it’s going to go. They’ve sent me new ones, but they’re never as good. I found it in Paris in ’70- something with Chuch Magee. We were bombed out of our ’eads at the time, but I’ve never stopped using it. I’ve used it in a piano trio, and I’ve used it behind Keith, and it’s fabulous. It’s a beautiful cymbal to record with.” Concerning Charlie’s stage sound, Benji Lefevre, the front-of-the-house soundman/sound engineer for the tour, commented: “Charlie tunes it his way, and it just produces the Charlie Watts sound, so I don’t mess with it. He does, however, have a very light jazzy bass drum technique, which enables me to use delicate high quality microphones on it.”

Win Keith Richards’ Fender Telecaster

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Guitar Player and Rolling Stones Gear have teamed up to give you a chance to Win the Brands of the Rolling Stones! Now you can own some of the major brands of equipment the Rolling Stones played including Fender, Martin, Framus, Zemaitis, Gretsch, and Vox in this exciting new sweepstakes! They are also giving away the new book Rolling Stones Gear: All the Stones’ Instruments from Stage to Studio by Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost. Check out this vintage ’52 Fender Telecaster that YOU could own!

 

FenderKeith mainly used his collection of five-string Teles, but also had on hand his 999 blond ’59 Tele (strung as a six-string), the single-cutaway ’57 sunburst Les Paul Junior, a single-cutaway Les Paul TV Junior, a single-cutaway Les Paul TV Special, the ’58 Mary Kaye Strat, a custom-made all-black Tele- style guitar with black P-90 pickups, a transparent black Tele-style Cobra by Tom Anderson, a reissue ’59 sunburst Gibson Les Paul, his acoustic Gibson L-1, an Ovation Adamas acoustic six-string, and a number of Martins. As on previous tours, Keith’s tunings and capo positions remained the same on all the constant numbers in the set. Another Fender Tele that was added to Keith’s five-string Tele collection was a 1952 butterscotch example with a black pickguard, which Keith nicknamed “George.” Unlike Micawber, Malcolm, and Sonny, whose neck pickups were replaced with humbuckers, George’s traditional Tele neck pickup was left alone. The guitar’s original bridge was replaced with an aftermarket bridge, and it was set up as a five string. The George Tele has become one of Keith’s go-to guitars for both stage and studio. Keith’s legendary guitars and their names hold a mystique of their own. Pierre explained: “I laugh when people tell me they spell Sonny with a ‘u’. It’s ‘Sonny’ because it’s named after Sonny Rollins, and Sonny Rollins is not spelled with a ‘u’, but I don’t sit there and tell everyone that. When I met Keith, he literally called all his Teles by their first names—Malcolm, Micawber, Sonny.” Pierre continued, revealing yet another new addition to Keith’s collection, “Gloria is a five-string 1954 Esquire that is totally beat up. It was a ‘parts’ guitar, a total beater with an Anderson pickup in the neck, and the reason for that is the low magnetic pull.”

Win the Brands of the Rolling Stones

Contest Slide 770x420Guitar Player and Rolling Stones Gear have teamed up to give you a chance to Win the Brands of the Rolling Stones! Now you can own some of the major brands of equipment the Rolling Stones played including Fender, Martin, Framus, Zemaitis, Gretsch, and Vox in this exciting new sweepstakes! They are also giving away the new book Rolling Stones Gear: All the Stones’ Instruments from Stage to Studio by Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost.

This giveaway is open to residents of the United States or the District of Columbia and you must be at least eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry (see the official sweepstakes rules below). One lucky winner will be randomly selected after October 31, 2014.

Enter HERE

Tony Bacon, an interview

 

 

Onstage and Backstage podcast from Hal Leonard is available on iTunes and Libsyn. Each episode authors and their guests have a chat about the topics of their books. Today, Tony Bacon, author of many wonderful guitar books including The Telecaster Guitar Book, chats with Richard McDonald and Justin Norvell of Fender about why the Telly is a favorite.

>>>LISTEN HERE<<<

The Telecaster Guitar Book by Tony Bacon (Backbeat Books)

This new version of Tony Bacon’s Six Decades of the Fender Telecaster shows how the world’s first commercially successful solidbody electric guitar still attracts musicians more than 60 years since its birth in California. Today, it is more popular than ever and for many guitarists has overtaken the Stratocaster as the Fender to own and play. The Tele is the longest-lived solidbody electric, played by everyone from Muddy Waters to Keith Richards, from Radiohead to Snow Patrol. Its sheer simplicity and versatility are vividly illustrated here through interviews with Jeff Beck, James Burton, Bill Kirchen, John 5, and more. The book is three great volumes in one: a compendium of luscious pictures of the most desirable Teles, a gripping story from the earliest days to the latest exploits, and a detailed collector’s guide to every Tele ever made. Packed with pictures of great players, collectable catalogs, period press ads, and cool memorabilia, The Telecaster Guitar Book is the one Tele book that all guitar fans will want to add to their collection.

Squier Showcase: Celebrating 30 Years!

In 1982, Fender revived an old guitar-string name for its new line of Japanese-made electric guitars. Thirty years and millions of guitars later, Squier is almost as important to the company as the main Fender brand.

In celebration of the budget brand’s 30th anniversary, we’re showcasing some of Squier’s more experimental guitars, as featured in Backbeat’s own Squier Electrics: 30 Years of Fender’s Budget Guitar Brand If you like what you see, please check out the full text here.

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Squier Electrics: 30 Years of Fender’s Budget Guitar Brand

Guitar pundit Tony Bacon reveals the stories behind the original (and collectible) Japanese-made Squier Series models, the way that Fender has often been more adventurous and experimental with Squier, away from its protected main brand, and the famous musicians who have chosen to play Squier instruments, from Courtney Love and her Venus model to blink-182’s Tom DeLonge and his one-pickup/one-control signature Stratocaster.

Full of the luscious pictures, absorbing narrative, and collector’s data that characterize Bacon’s best-selling instrument books, Squier Electrics is the only guide to one of the most popular guitar brands of recent times. Available for purchase here.


TONY BACON
is a leading author on instrument history and a co-founder of Jawbone Press. His books include Paul McCartney – Bassmaster, 60 Years Of Fender, The Ultimate Guitar Book, The Stratocaster Guitar Book, Electric Guitars – The Illustrated Encyclopedia, and many others.