Do you know these amazing Fender facts?

Thanks largely to the musical heroics of guitar players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and David Gilmour, Fender is possibly the world’s most famous brand of electric guitar. But guess what? Fender’s creator, Leo Fender, didn’t even play — he was a saxophonist! Here are some more facts you might not know about Fender guitars.

The Tele wasn’t always a Tele

In the beginning, the Telecaster was actually called the Broadcaster. However, upon discovering a brand of drums called Broadcaster, Fender had to change the name. Until they were able to come up with Telecaster, the company produced the guitar with no name on the headstock. Here’s some advice: If you stumble up one of these nameless guitars, take it and run. It’s worth a mint.

Leo loved electronics

Above all, Leo Fender loved to muck around with electrical things. And it was his uncle John West, who owned a garage, first piqued Leo’s interest by sending him a package of unwanted electrical parts as a Christmas present.

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The Fender machine

The Fender factories continue to be hives of activity. Every day they churn almost 90,000 strings—about 32,000 kilometres a year! They also make around 950 guitar necks per day.

R.I.P Jimi

Jimi Hendrix is most known for his wizardry on the Fender Stratocaster. He was so good that when he burst onto the UK rock scene in 1966, Mr. Slowhand Eric Clapton felt like giving up. The Strat became so integral to Hendrix’s identity that when he tragically passed away in 1970, his relatives had a Fender Stratocaster carved onto his tombstone.

Crazy price

When thinking about the Stratocaster, Bob Dylan doesn’t often come to mind. However, when he upset his acoustic-loving audience at the Newport Folk Festival, in 1965, it was a Strat that Dylan played. In 2013, this notorious instrument sold at auction for an eye-watering $965,000!

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Andrew Healey


Andrew is an Auckland-based writer and musician.

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