For nearly every rock n’ roll guitarist there is a nearly-as legendary guitar. Think of Jimmy Page and his “#1″ late ’50s Les Paul Standard, Eric Clapton‘s “The Fool” SG he used in Cream and “Greeny”, the hallowed 1959 Les Paul Standard used by Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green, Irish blues rock great Gary Moore and now in the possession of Metallica shredder Kirk Hammett. It’s fascinating to think of one guitar passing through the hands of three famous guitarists, though it’s more common than you might think.
This past Sunday was the birthday of one of the legends of the electric guitar, though it wasn’t as a player that he made his fame. Born on August 10th in 1909, Leo Fender however did irrevocably change not just guitar playing but music itself with his introduction of the first mass-produced solid body electric guitars (the Telecaster), the electric bass (the Precision or “P-Bass”) and his myriad amplifier innovations. He also invented perhaps the coolest looking electric guitar ever, the Stratocaster, whose sleek look and bold curves is an almost visual representation of rock n’ roll. Starting with musicians like Buddy Holly and Dick Dale, rockers took to Fender guitars, basses and amps early and are a major reason much of rock sounds the way it does. Read more…
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