Other Guitars

Fender wanted Les Paul…

2

Back in the mid 70s in NJ Les Paul would advertise all this stuff for sale in one of those print want ad things... always located in Mahwah, NJ. One time around 1976 among the other stuff in one ad was 'early Fender Broadcaster, $2000' This was early enough that most people hadn't even heard of the Broadcaster which was all of 25 years old then.

3

I stumbled on this article today. It sounded like the Telecaster was too twangy for Les Paul. It makes sense that he preferred P90s for his single coils.

4

So Fender missed out on landing Les, and obviously didn’t get Chet either... so who was the first big-name endorser for Fender Guitars? What was the earliest Signature model?

5

So Fender missed out on landing Les, and obviously didn’t get Chet either... so who was the first big-name endorser for Fender Guitars? What was the earliest Signature model?

– kc_eddie_b

They had plenty of names playing them, but I believe the first fender signature models werent until the 80s, with Clapton and Yngwie Malmsteen getting the first ones.

6

So Fender missed out on landing Les, and obviously didn’t get Chet either... so who was the first big-name endorser for Fender Guitars? What was the earliest Signature model?

– kc_eddie_b

I just finished reading the book "Fender: The Sound Heard 'Round the World". I don't remember all of the details but I don't think they made any signature models until the 1980s. They did give some guitars away but I don't think they made anything special. The first big Fender players were country artists with pedal steels and Telecasters and then Buddy Holly and Hank Marvin with Stratocasters.

7

So Fender missed out on landing Les, and obviously didn’t get Chet either... so who was the first big-name endorser for Fender Guitars? What was the earliest Signature model?

– kc_eddie_b

They may not have done signature guitars until the '80s, but they did advertise endorsers earlier than that.

8

I wonder if the same advertising manager had to decide to run both the Buddy Merrill ad and the Hendrix ad. His head must have been fairly spinning.

9

I wonder if the same advertising manager had to decide to run both the Buddy Merrill ad and the Hendrix ad. His head must have been fairly spinning.

– Proteus

Yes, and only from 10 - 15 years in between the two ads. But Jimi was a radical evolution from wherever you start.

10

Thanks for that info guys! It seems obvious (at the time as well) that the "Signature model" strategy was a success, with the Les Paul and Chet Atkins guitars all selling well. It's interesting to me that Fender resisted the urge to follow-suit for 25 years!


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