Following on from my Gibson-ites post I am now having a quick look at some of the musicians who choose the Fender side of the…er…fen-ce!
Where Gibson seemed to capture the more rough ‘n’ ready raw power garage band side of the market, Fender traditionally seemed to attract the more refined (some might even say effete) end of the guitar-playing community. Certainly, this was true in the early (50s onwards) days of the guitar brands’ rivalry. Gibson = power, Fender = flair.
Buddy Holly was the first Fender icon – latterly dubbed the “first hero of the Strat” (i.e. Stratocaster). George Harrison (of the Beatles) painted his Fender with a unique personal design. Eric Clapton (often followed by the epithet “is God” for his Blues guitar playing) is a Fender man through and through.
However, perhaps the all-time Fender icon – and forever synonymous with the brand – has to be Jimi Hendrix; undoubtedly the greatest guitar player of all time bar none. (Legend tells of Clapton once watching Hendrix playing at a club and then going home in a huff to get some rapid practice in!) The white left-handed Stratocaster played by Hendrix (and memorably once set alight by Hendrix!) is a famous motif in guitar history – and launched a thousand sales of white Strats. Unfortunately, if you want to play like Jimi, you have to be left-handed (rats!) and pretty damn good (double rats!)
As stated in my original guitar-related post (Gibson, Fender or…) I was once a Punk (and a drummer). Back in the day (and for those who could afford it somehow) Gibson was always the Punk’s guitar of choice. However, Fender did have a couple of adherents. Joe Strummer of The Clash loved his Telecaster and played it for literally decades. Lou Reed (who I saw performing at Wembley Arena around the time the New York album was released) is another long-term Fender fan.
And finally – a Fender filly! PJ Harvey – a great and innovative contemporary musician – was actually a Gibson user for many years. Lately, though, she’s come around to Fender – having used a borrowed Telecaster for much of her recording she’s also taken to using Fender Mustangs (great guitars – also much loved by the late Kurt Cobain).
And here endeth the guitar blogs (…for now!) Toodle pip amigos!