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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Leo Fender. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leo Fender. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tribute to Leo Fender

Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender (August 10, 1909 – March 21, 1991) was an American inventor who founded Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, or "Fender" for short. He left the company in the late 1960s, and later founded two other musical instrument companies, MusicMan and G&L Musical Instruments.

The guitars, bass guitars, and amplifiers he designed from the 1940s on are still relevant: the Fender Telecaster (1949) was the first mass-produced electric guitar; the Fender Stratocaster (1954) is among the world's most iconic electric guitars; the Fender Precision Bass (1951) set the standard for electric bass guitars; and the Fender Bassman amplifier, popular enough in its own right, became the basis for later amplifiers (notably by Marshall and Mesa Boogie) that dominated rock and roll music.
In the 1950s, Leo Fender had contracted a strep infection which caused his health to deteriorate to the point at which he decided to wind up his business affairs, selling the Fender company to CBS in 1965. As part of this deal, Leo Fender signed a non-compete clause and remained a consultant with Fender for a while. Shortly after selling the company, he changed doctors and was cured of his illness.[citation needed] In 1971 he returned to business and formed the Tri-Sonic company. In 1974, as the expiry date of the clause approached, the company's name was changed to Music Man. In 1975, Leo Fender became its president.

An early innovative instrument was the StingRay. Though the body design borrowed heavily from the Precision Bass, the StingRay is largely considered to be the first production bass with active electronics. The StingRay's 2-band active equalizer, high output humbucking pickup and smooth satin finished neck went on to become a favorite of many influential bassists, including Louis Johnson, John Deacon and Flea. Later on a 3-band active equalizer was introduced.[citation needed] Music Man was active making amplifiers as well, but the HD-130 Reverb, designed to compete with the Twin Reverb, came at a time when the clean sounds of the Twin were going out of fashion.

In 1979 he and old friends George Fullerton and Dale Hyatt started a new company called G&L (George & Leo) Musical Products. G&L guitar designs tended to lean heavily upon the looks of Fender's original guitars such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster, but incorporated innovations such as enhanced tremolo systems and electronics.

In 1979, Fender's wife Esther died of cancer. He remarried in 1980; Phyllis Fender is an Honorary Chairman of G&L. Despite suffering several minor strokes, Fender continued to produce guitars and basses. On March 21, 1991, he died, having long suffered from Parkinson's disease. His accomplishments for "contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field" were acknowledged with a Technical Grammy Award in 2009. Music by Russell Eldridge

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Leo Fender's Telecaster Promo - Documentary

(DVD) Leo Fender launched his Broadcaster guitar later named the Telecaster in 1950. Little did he realize that his invention would forever change popular music. This 2-DVD set features interviews with some of the world's finest musicians, including Albert Lee, Steve Cropper, James Burton, GE Smith, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck and many others, plus noted Fender experts and historians such as Tom Wheeler, Richard Smith and Mac Yasuda. Filmed in the US and Europe, this in-depth documentary includes previously unavailable footageof the Fender production line in the 1950s, as well as up-to-date factory and custom shop tours in the Corona, CA facility. Disc One = 83 min, Disc Two = 76 min.