Hero Of The Underground: Fender Celebrates 60 Years Of Jazzmaster® Innovation

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (May 9, 2018— Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced the 60th anniversary celebration of Fender’s most creative and expressive model: the Jazzmaster. A hero of the underground, the Jazzmaster has been adopted by generations of artists looking for unique sonic qualities and combinations, unlocking genre defying sound that lives on today within music and culture.
In 1958, Fender introduced the Jazzmaster as the top-of-the-line electric guitar for jazz musicians; later the sound and easily modifiable style attracted counterculture and misfit players, including aficionados of surf guitar – who rarely hesitated to personalize their instruments and make a sound of their own. Over the past 60 years, players across genres have wielded Jazzmaster guitars – from J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) and Elvis Costello to Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age), Chelsea Wolfe, Jim Root (Slipknot), Chris Stapleton, Portugal. The Man and The War on Drugs. A cult classic today, the Jazzmaster still is the core tool for contemporary artists and innovative players continuing pushing the creative boundaries of music.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary occasion, Fender is releasing highly collectible iterations of the beloved Jazzmaster, including three, limited edition models in select colors: the Limited Edition 60th Anniversary ’58 Jazzmaster, Triple Jazzmaster and Classic Jazzmaster.
“The Jazzmaster is the little engine that could,” said Justin Norvell, SVP, Fender Products. “It didn’t follow its original destiny to be a jazz guitar, but found a niche on the creative cutting edge and maintains significant popularity today as we celebrate its 60th anniversary. Whether it’s surf, ‘90s punk rock or alternative music, the Jazzmaster has remained the guitar of choice, pushing music forward into uncharted territory.”

The original ‘58 Jazzmaster boasted a revolutionary offset waist, distinctive-sounding pickups, a flexible rhythm/lead circuit and was the first Fender guitar to sport a rosewood fingerboard. An homage to the original prototype of this ground-breaking guitar, the 60th Anniversary ‘58 Jazzmaster accurately recreates the bold and distinctive look and feel of the original 1958 prototype, giving players a taste of the Jazzmaster in its original form. The Limited Edition 60th Anniversary ’58 Jazzmaster is offered in 2-Color Sunburst. 
The Triple Jazzmaster features a modern, triple-pickup and is an homage to the mod ethos that permeates Jazzmaster player circles. Combining authentic looks and uniquely flexible wiring – the guitar also features brand-new humbucking pickups from pickup guru Tim Shaw for a guitar that’s ready to rip it up on stage and off. The Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Triple Jazzmaster is offered in Daphne Blue.
Classic Jazzmaster updates the classic 1966 model with features that modern, creative players are sure to appreciate. This model is a reproduction of the 1966 Jazzmaster, which at the time, was updated with the following features: bound neck, block inlays, and as a special aesthetic touch, a slick-looking matching painted headstock. These stylish visual cues—as well as the rich, multi-dimensional sound—made this one of the most sought-after Jazzmaster models. The Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Classic Jazzmaster is offered in Daphne Blue, Black, Vintage Blonde, and Fiesta Red. 

The 60th anniversary Jazzmaster models are available at local dealers and on www.Fender.com on the below dates; models include: 

o    Available Now: Limited Edition 60th Anniversary ‘58 Jazzmaster – $2,299.99    

o    Available September 2018: Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Triple Jazzmaster –  $1,999.99 and Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Classic Jazzmaster – $1,199.99. 

To learn more about Fender’s 60th Anniversary Jazzmaster models and for product descriptions of each model, click here. For series product images, click here.  

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.


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Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends. 


Troy Van Leeuwen’s New Fender Custom Shop Double-neck Jazzmaster

TVLAcrossIs there anything cooler than the double neck? No. Jimmy Page knows it, Eddie Van Halen knows it, David St Hubbins knows it, and Troy Van Leeuwen of Queens Of The Stone Age knows it. Check out Troy’s monstrous new Fender Custom Shop double-neck Jazzmaster, which features 6 and 12-string necks, and there’s a great video about the guitar’s creation, which you can see below. It starts with the beginning of the process back in mid 2013, follows through to the delivery of the finished beast. And there’s plenty more info about it in this article over at the Fender website.

Read More …

NAMM 2014: Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster

Jim RootFor a few years now, Slipknot/Stone Sour’s Jim Root has been appearing onstage with a Jazzmaster-based Fender kitted out with his preferred pickup combination of an EMG 81 in the bridge position and a 60 at the neck. Now, finally, you’ll be able to get your hands on one of your very own! The Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster is a very stripped-down take on what a Jazzmaster is: the pisition markers, chrome bridge, dual tone circuits and controls have been jettisoned, replaced by a hard-tail Stratocaster bridge, a master volume control and a 3-way pickup selector switch. The body is mahogany with a comfortable contoured neck heel, satin-finish maple neck with “modern C” profile and large headstock, compound-radius ebony fingerboard (12”-16”) with 22 jumbo frets, staggered deluxe locking tuners, black hardware and pickup bezels, and a Flat Black satin-nitro lacquer finish. Includes black tweed case with red plush interior, strap and strap locks, cable and polishing cloth.

Thanks to Guitar Noize for the heads-up on this one!  Read More …

New Fender American Vintage Series guitars!

One of my favourite guitars in my personal collection is my Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster Reissue, a real workhorse of a guitar which does an incredible job of capturing the vibe of a’62 Strat. It’s a very soulful axe with plenty of personality. And as a fan of 60s Strats in general and the fatter logo in particular, I’m super-stoked that Fender has beefed up the American Vintage Series offering with a bunch of all-new models, including a ’65 Stratocaster with the very logo that sends me into conniptions. One of these in sunburst is now riding very high on my wish list.
Here’s the press release and plenty of pics.

The very first Fiesta Red Fender ever

Recently while at the Fender factory and Visitor Center in Corona, California I stumbled upon this little beauty: the very first Fiesta Red Fender guitar ever. It’s a 1957 Jazzmaster prototype, and not only was this the first Fiesta Red guitar, this very guitar was also the first ever Fender to feature a custom colour. And if that doesn’t make it historic enough, Fender’s George Fullerton later added an experimental neck with a round-laminated fretboard made of lacquer-coated black vulcanised fiber – the same stuff used to make pickup bobbins.


Here’s some more info on the guitar from Fender.


We get so used to thinking of guitars as these commodities, mass-produced items that you can see half a dozen of lined up at your local store. But stuff like this particular Jazzmaster, and like visiting the Fender factory in general, reminds me that each one is a unique instrument with tonal properties particular to the individual pieces of wood, the individual trees, that they were made from. And then when you think that before this instrument was made there was no such thing as a Fiesta Red Fender, and that this is the actual first one to ever feature this finish – it all just makes it hit home that little bit harder, the history of this wonderful instrument that we all (if you’re reading this site) use to express ourselves.

NEWS: Fender announces Sonic Youth signature Jazzmasters

Cool news for Sonic Youth fans. I see that while it’s very trendy to have Thurston Moore write a foreword for your book, Fender has gone all out and had him write a whole zine. Collectoriffic!

Fender Announces Sonic Youth Signature Jazzmaster® Guitars

Sonic pioneers Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo design heavily modified guitars in conjunction with latest studio release …

Hot on the heels of their latest critically acclaimed album, The Eternal, Sonic Youth has teamed up with Fender to create two of the most highly anticipated guitars in recent memory—the Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo signature Jazzmaster guitars, which will be available beginning July 1.

Moore and Ranaldo, canonized as two of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003, make up two-fifths of one of the most respected and influential bands in recent memory. Moore and Ranaldo have been playing Fender instruments for the lion’s share of their careers, to the point where the simple image of a Jazzmaster guitar creates an instant free-associative connection with the band. In celebration of 2008’s 50th Anniversary of the Jazzmaster, Fender had been connecting and talking to all of the icons of the instrument, and a dialogue struck up with Lee and Thurston that led to the design and creation of Fender’s latest signature model additions.

“When Fender came to us with an offer to make signature models of our Jazzmaster guitars we jumped at the chance,” Moore and Ranaldo said. “These are the guitars that have defined the sound of Sonic Youth for more than 20 years. Although we love all guitars, Jazzmasters are the ones we’ve modified and perfected for our uses over the years. With massive input from our great road crew, we’ve come up with a Thurston Jazzmaster and Lee ‘Jazzblaster’ that fully reflect the current state of the guitars we play in 2009. In fact, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on these axes—the prototypes of our Fender models have already been thrust into action during the recording of our latest album, The Eternal, and have already begun to acquire the scrapes and scars of live performance. These guitars rock Sonic-style!”

Moore and Ranaldo have always modified their Jazzmaster guitars—removing all extraneous controls—simplifying and stripping them back to their essence, leaving just a three-way switch and volume knob. In many ways, these two instruments are similar, yet in almost every major way (pickups, bridges, frets) they are totally different. Both guitars have alder bodies, “C”-shaped maple necks with rosewood fingerboards, American Vintage Jazzmaster tremolos and black anodized aluminum pickguards. Moore’s Jazzmaster features Seymour Duncan® Antiquity II for Jazzmaster pickups, an Adjusto-Matic™ bridge and 21 jumbo frets, and is available in Forest Green Transparent satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish with satin black painted headstock. Ranaldo’s guitar features re-voiced wide range humbucking pickups, Mustang®-style bridge and 21 vintage frets, and is available in Sapphire Blue Transparent satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish with satin black painted headstock.

Each Sonic Youth Jazzmaster guitar comes with a custom sticker sheet and a full-color 24-page indie rock ’zine containing photos, set lists, tuning charts, illustrations, tech info and extensive interviews. Designed and laid out largely by Ranaldo himself, this is the definitive insider’s guide to all things Jazzmaster in the world of Sonic Youth.

Sonic Youth came together in 1981 and quickly became a fixture in New York City’s No Wave art and music scene. Over the years, they have released several monumental albums, including Sonic Youth (1982), Daydream Nation (1988), Goo (1990), Dirty (1992) and Murray Street (2002), and have influenced legions of bands all over the world. Known as much for their hardcore ethos and DIY work ethic as their signature lo-fi noise explorations and radical playing styles and techniques, they have been able to achieve recognition and success, all while staying true to their original values and vision.

“We were stoked to have the opportunity to create something together, and the resultant instruments are spot-on at evoking the essence of their unique styles and preferences,” said Justin Norvell, marketing director for Fender electric guitars. “These guitars went through pretty rigorous R&D—the guys and their techs were incredibly hands-on throughout the whole process. When they were home we took their original guitars apart, re-voiced pickups against their vintage guitars, and more. When they were out on tour, we traded countless late-night e-mails, making adjustments based on their road performance. In the end we are all extremely happy with the results, and we believe that Sonic Youth fans all over the world will be as well.”

For more information on the Sonic Youth guitars, the band and a free mp3 download of new single “Sacred Trickster,” visit www.fender.com/sonicyouth.

Photo by Eric Baecht

SPARKLY GUITAR WEEK: Day 7 – Fender J Mascis Jazzmaster

The final entry in Sparkly Guitar Week is the Fender J Mascis signature Jazzmaster. Mascis rose to prominence as the leader of Dinosaur Jr, and can always be relied upon for fuzzed out freakage. 
Fun fact: This one time, I was wearing my Dinosaur Jr shirt, which has a picture of Mascis’s bulldog on it. I was strolling along Acland St in St Kilda and I saw this dude walking towards me, staring at my shirt. I thought “That dude looks like J Mascis.” Then I got to work and read the paper. In the entertainment section was a photo of the same dude from Acland St. It was J Mascis, in town to do a solo gig. A-doy. 

To honor the sonic legacy of alt/indie rock founding father J Mascis, Fender is supremely psyched to unveil the sparkling-new J Mascis Jazzmaster guitar.

Mascis took the instrument to a new place with his feedback-drenched, distortion-laden band, Dinosaur Jr. This new signature model pays affectionately ear-splitting homage to Mascis, giving the instrument a modern makeover for fans who’ve been clamoring for such a model for years.

With its stunning and unusual Purple Sparkle polyester finish, matching headcap and gold anodized pickguard, the guitar features mods requested by Mascis himself—including an Adjusto-Matic bridge, reinforced tremolo arm housing and a satin-finished neck. The Dinosaur roar comes from dual vintage reissue pickups and the barrage of controls the Jazzmaster has always been known for—a three-position toggle switch with volume and tone knobs and, for this model, a two-position slide switch with volume and tone controls configured as a “lead tone circuit” (up) and a “rhythm tone circuit” (down).

Available beginning in July 2007, the J Mascis Jazzmaster is literally a sparkling new addition to the Fender lineup, in celebration of the adventurous and continuing sonic contributions of the man who has been the model’s constant champion for nearly 25 years now.

HERE’S one on eBay or you can see more HERE. Or you can get one HERE at Music123.