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60 Years of Fender—A Timeline

Published: Tue December 12, 2006  News Feed

To celebrate our 60th anniversary, we present a year-by-year guide to Fender products and some famous music being made on Fender instruments ...

1945 Clarence "Leo" Fender and Clayton "Doc" Kauffman form a new company, The K&F Manufacturing Corporation, which begins producing electric lap steel guitars and amplifiers.
1946 Kauffman departs K&F, and the Fender Manufacturing Company is born. “I didn’t see much of a future for electric guitars ... I guess I was wrong,” Kauffman once said. The first Deluxe "Model 26" and Princeton amps are introduced.
1947 The company becomes the Fender Electric Instrument Company. The Dual Professional™ amplifier, Fender's first tweed-covered model, is introduced. as are the Super and Pro amps. Invention of the transistor.
1949 The first prototype of the Fender Esquire®, Broadcaster® and Telecaster® guitars is completed.
1950 Fender introduces the single-pickup Esquire® guitar.
1951 Fender introduces the dual-pickup Broadcaster® guitar, re-named the Telecaster® later that year. Fender introduces a new invention, the Precision Bass®, the world’s first electric bass guitar. The Bassman® amp also debuts.
1952 The Twin™ amp makes its debut.
1953 Fender’s Bandmaster and Champ® amplifiers appear.
1954 Fender introduces one of the most famous guitars in the world—the Stratocaster®. Volume pedals first appear.
1955 The Tremolux and legendary 4x10 Bassman amps debut. The first Fender picks are produced.
1956 The first student model guitars, the Musicmaster® and Duo-Sonic®, are launched. Also new are the Harvard and Vibrolux® amps, and solidbody mandolins.

Hits this year include "Be-Bop-A-Lula" by Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps (Johnny Meeks plays a Stratocaster guitar on it), "I Can't Quit You Baby" by Otis Rush, and "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins.
1957 Buddy Holly appears on The Ed Sullivan Show playing his Stratocaster guitar.
1958 Fender introduces the Jazzmaster® guitar, the electric violin and the weirder-than-weird Eccofonic echo unit.

Buddy Holly tours the U.K. with his Stratocaster, inspiring a new generation of players. His hit single "Peggy Sue" hits the U.K. charts. Albert Collins releases The Freeze.
1959 The Vibrasonic and Concert amps are introduced, as is the Custom Telecaster.

Buddy Holly dies in a plane crash. Hank Marvin of the Shadows gets a Fiesta Red Stratocaster guitar, possibly the first one in the U.K.
1960 Fender introduces its famous Jazz Bass® guitar and Showman amp.

The Ventures hit the U.K. charts with "Walk Don't Run."
1961 New: the Fender Bass VI guitar, White Tolex Twin amp, Reverb Unit and TR-105 wireless unit.

Dick Dale records "Misirilou." Muddy Waters releases his classic album, The Real Folk Blues.
1962 Fender introduces the sleek Jaguar® guitar and the Double (soon to be "Dual") Showman amp.

Howlin' Wolf’s self-titled album is released
1963 The Twin Reverb® Amp is unveiled. So are the Concert and Folk acoustic guitars, Fender's first acoustics. Also new are the Deluxe Reverb®, Super Reverb® and Vibroverb amps, Fender-Rhodes electric pianos and Electronic Echo Chamber.

John Paul Jones buys the Jazz Bass® that he subsequently used on eight Led Zeppelin albums. A young Rory Gallagher buys his first and only Stratocaster guitar, which will later propel him to great fame and success. Future Fender signature artist Lars Johann (later Yngwie) Malmsteen is born in Stockholm, Sweden. Stratocaster hits this year include Dick Dale's King Of The Surf Guitar album and the debut single by the Beach Boys, "Surfin' U.S.A."
1964 Fender introduces the Mustang® guitar, and King and Concert steel-string acoustic guitars.

Carol Kaye plays a Precision bass on the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'."
1965 CBS buys Fender for $13 million. New products include the Pro Reverb™ amp, Bass V guitar, Electric XII, Kingman acoustic, Malibu acoustic, Newporter acoustic, Shenandoa XII and Villager XII 12-string acoustics. Neckplates begin to be stamped with a big backward "F."

The Beatles' George Harrison and John Lennon play Stratocasters on "Nowhere Man" from Rubber Soul. Curtis Mayfield plays one on "People Get Ready" from the Impressions' Definitive Impressions. Bob Dylan plays his at the Newport Folk Festival, outraging folk purists. Dave Davies plays a Broadcaster on the Kinks' smash hit "You Really Got Me."
1966 Fender's first solid-state (transistor) amps are made. A larger headstock appears on Stratocasters; other innovations include Coronado guitars, the Mustang Bass guitar, Antigua finishes, Wildwood acoustics, the Solid-State Reverberation Unit and the Echo Reverb disc delay.

Jimi Hendrix arrives in the U.K. The Jimi Hendrix Experience release their debut single, "Hey Joe." James Jamerson plays a Jazz bass on "Reach Out ... I'll Be There." Ike Turner plays a Stratocaster on "River Deep, Mountain High."
1967 New are the Bronco™ guitar; the solid-state Deluxe Reverb, Pro Reverb, Super Reverb and Vibrolux Reverb amps; and the rather spaced-out Soundette echo device.

Jimi Hendrix plays (and burns) his Stratocaster guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival. George Harrison first plays his hand-painted psychedelic Stratocaster on the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" television broadcast.
1968 Fender introduces the semi-hollow Thinline Telecaster, Bronco amplifier, Pink Paisley and Blue Flower Telecaster, Montego and LTD hollow-body archtop guitars, Palomino acoustic, Orchestration + brass/wind effects unit (!), Dimension IV effects unit, Fuzz Wah pedal, Fender Blender™ distortion pedal and Bandmaster Reverb amp. A new black Fender instrument logo is introduced.

Jimmy Page plays a Telecaster guitar on Led Zeppelin's eponymous debut album. Status Quo hit the U.K. charts with "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" and "Ice In The Sun"; guitarists Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt play their Telecaster guitars on these and all subsequent tracks throughout their long career.
1969 New at the close of the '60s: Fender Custom, Maverick, Swinger, F Series acoustics, Redondo acoustic, Bantam and Super Bassman bass amps, Super Showman and Zodiac amps, Multi Echo effects box and Super Bassman II.

Jimi Hendrix closes the Woodstock festival with "The Star Spangled Banner." George Harrison plays a rosewood body Telecaster guitar in the Beatles' farewell performance atop London's Apple building. Bruce Springsteen buys his now-famous Esquire® guitar.
1970 This year's groovy consumables include the 400 PS and Musicmaster™ bass amps, the Musicmaster Bass guitar and the first fretless Fender basses.

Whilst browsing in a Nashville music store, Eric Clapton buys a black Stratocaster guitar he later nicknames "Blackie." Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante is born. Jimi Hendrix dies at age 27. Clapton plays on Derek and the Dominoes' Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Deep Purple's In Rock stays in the U.K. charts all year, and features Ritchie Blackmore's dynamic Stratocaster playing on such hits as "Black Night," "Strange Kind Of Woman" and "Child in Time."
1971 Three-screw neckplates added to Fender instruments.

Keith Richards' Telecaster work can be heard on the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers. Curtis Mayfield plays a Stratocaster guitar on Move On Up, and Rory Gallagher plays one on his self-titled debut album. Larry Graham's Jazz Bass is heard on the Sly and the Family Stone classic There's a Riot Goin' On. Stratocaster guitars can be heard on Traffic's The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys and Funkadelic's Maggot Brain.
1972 The Bassman 10, Bassman 100 and Super Six Reverb amps are introduced.

Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water" features one the most played riffs in guitar history; Richard Thompson's Henry The Human Fly appears.
1973 The Telecaster Deluxe is introduced.

Pink Floyd release The Dark Side of the Moon. The Isley Brothers' 3+3 features Ernie Isley's Stratocaster playing.
1974 Pickups change from staggered to flush polepieces. Hard-tail (no vibrato) and left-handed Stratocasters are introduced.

Strat-wielding Brit Robin Trower breaks big in the United States with Bridge of Sighs.
1975 The 300 PS speaker enclosure, Super Twin amp and Fender Phaser pedal debut.

Bruce Springsteen, Esquire guitar in hand, releases his landmark Born To Run album. Roxy Music score a worldwide hit with "Love Is The Drug."
1976 New this year is the Starcaster® guitar.

Robbie Robertson plays his '58 Strat at The Band's farewell performance. Canada's Rush release 2112. Jeff Beck starts using Stratocaster guitars again on Wired, a practice he continues to this day. Other very "Fender-y" albums this year include Hotel California by the Eagles and Fly Like An Eagle by the Steve Miller Band.
1977 Five-position selector switches are added to Stratocasters. Also, the Antigua finish is revived, Schaller® tuners first appear on Fender instruments, and the Bassman 70, Bassman 135 and Studio Bass amps are introduced.

Status Quo release their anthemic Rockin' All Over The World. Elvis Costello clutches his Fender Jaguar on the cover of his debut album, My Aim Is True. On the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," David Byrne plays a Duo-Sonic guitar and Tina Weymouth plays a Mustang® bass. Nile Rogers plays a Stratocaster guitar on Chic's self-titled debut. The second Stranglers album, No More Heroes, features Hugh Cornwell's Telecaster guitar and Jean-Jacques Burnel's Precision Bass. Junior Marvin plays guitar on Bob Marley's Exodus.
1978 Thin Lizzy, featuring Phil Lynott and his Precision Bass, release the Live and Dangerous album. A new group called the Police hit big with "Roxanne." Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits release "Sultans of Swing"; Knopfler’s Fiesta Red '61 Stratocaster can be heard on several tracks on the group's hit debut album. Chris Rea's debut, Whatever Happened To Benny Santini?, earns a gold disc in the United States; its single, "Fool If You Think It's Over," is nominated for a Grammy®.
1979 Fender introduces the Lead I and Lead II guitars.

The second Police album, Regatta de Blanc, includes the hit singles "Message In A Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon." The Clash release their seminal London Calling. Ry Cooder plays a Stratocaster guitar on his Bop ‘til You Drop album.
1980 New items include the Fender 30, 75 and 140 tube amps, and the B-300 head.

Chrissie Hynde and her Telecaster guitar burst onto the scene with the Pretenders' debut album and hit single "Brass In Pocket." Iron Maiden's self-titled debut album is released.
1981 The four-bolt neckplate returns on all models and the Stratocaster reverts back to the small headstock. The Micro-Tilt neck adjustment is discontinued, and the Stratocaster Standard is introduced as Fender's core model. The twin-humbucker Lead III joins the Lead Series, the short-lived Fender Bullet guitar is introduced, and the Walnut Stratocaster and Bassman Compact amp appear. Bright custom colours become available for a limited period, including Capri Orange, Monaco Yellow, Morocco Red and Sahara Taupe.

Sting buys the early-'50s Precision Bass that he still uses today. The Rolling Stones release Tattoo You and the Specials close the curtain on Britain's Two-Tone boom with their biggest-selling single, "Ghost Town."
1982 Fender launches Squier®, the company’s first line of imported guitars. The Super Champ amp appears. Vintage reissue models are launched, including the ’57 and '62 Stratocaster guitars, ’57 and '62 Precision basses and ’52 Telecaster. Standard Series Acoustics appear, as do the RGP-1 and RPW-1 power amps, Deluxe Reverb II amp and Bassman 20 amp.

Original nutty boys Madness continue their assault on the U.K. singles charts with "Cardiac Arrest," "House Of Fun" and "Our House"; guitarist Chrissy Boy plays Fender guitars on some of the band's finest moments. Iron Maiden’s sophomore album, The Number Of The Beast, turns them into a stadium-filling phenomenon. Miles Davis hires guitarist Mike Stern for the album We Want Miles.
1983 New products include the London Reverb, Yale Reverb, Montreux, Studio Lead, Stage Lead and Twin Reverb II amps; plus Elite Series guitars and California Series acoustics.

Stevie Ray Vaughan's dazzling skills storm the U.K. on David Bowie's Let's Dance. Will Sargeant plays a Jazzmaster® guitar on the Cure single "The Love Cats." Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck play the ARMS Benefit Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 20 Sept., followed by nine U.S. dates.
1984 CBS announces a divesting of all the company's non-broadcast holdings, putting Fender up for sale. Master Series guitars and Gemini Series acoustics debut.

Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A. and U2’s The Unforgettable Fire are two of the best-selling albums of the decade. Steve Vai plays modified Stratocasters on his Flex-Able album.
1985 Fender management, led by William (Bill) Schultz, buys the company from CBS, putting Fender back in the hands of a small group of musically dedicated professionals, with Schultz at the helm. U.S. production is temporarily suspended, although the newly restructured Fender company soon opens a new factory in Corona, Calif., and resumes U.S. guitar production. Fender acquires Sunn® Electronics.

The historic Live Aid charity concert takes place at London’s Wembley Stadium. Fender highlights include U2's the Edge playing a Stratocaster, a Strat-wielding Sting appearing with Dire Straits, Elvis Costello playing a red Jazzmaster, Queen's Brian May and Freddie Mercury playing Telecasters (black and white, respectively), Eric Clapton playing a Stratocaster and Status Quo playing Telecasters. Elsewhere in music, Liverpool likely lads Echo and the Bunnymen weigh in with their most influential album, Songs To Learn And Sing. Also appearing are Showdown by Robert Cray and Sting's first solo album, The Dream Of The Blue Turtles.
1986 U.S. production of Fender amps resumes at the Fender/Sunn factory in Lake Oswego, Ore.

The flagship American Standard Series is announced. The '57 and '62 Vintage Reissue Stratocasters are introduced; the first one made is a '57 Fiesta Red model with serial number V000001, presented to Bill Schulz. The second, also a Fiesta Red '57, bears serial number V000002 and is presented to Shadows guitarist Hank Marvin at a special banquet in London on 12 Feb. The Vintage Plus Stratocaster debuts, as do amps with red knobs.

Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms is the first CD to sell a million copies worldwide. Fender signature artist Yngwie Malmsteen releases Trilogy. Elvis Costello and the Confederates release King of America, featuring Telecaster master James Burton. Thin Lizzy singer and bassist Phil Lynott dies.
1987 Fender introduces the American Standard Stratocaster at the winter NAMM show. The Fender Custom Shop is established by John Page and John Stevens in Corona, Calif. Fender begins making low-cost guitars at its new Ensenada, Mexico, facility. New products include the valve-powered Twin amp, BXR 300, Strat® Plus and Dual Showman amp.

The Smiths, now at their biggest, put three albums out: The World Won't Listen, Louder Than Bombs and Strangeways, Here We Come. Yngwie Malmsteen racks up another hit with Odyssey. Guns 'n' Roses release the monster Appetite For Destruction. U2 stages an impromptu live performance at the Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco on 11 Nov.; the event is filmed for the group's film Rattle And Hum. Pink Floyd, sans Roger Waters, make a comeback with A Momentary Lapse Of Reason.
1988 Fender introduces its first signature model, the Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster. Also new are the Deluxe 85, Princeton Chorus and Super 60 amps; the Sidekick bass amp and the Yngwie Malmsteen Stratocaster. Fender Japan introduces several Stratocasters, including the 12-string Strat XII, '68 Stratocaster, HM Power Strat, Paisley Strat and Blue Flower Strat. Previously, the Blue Flower finish was only available on Telecasters.

Dinosaur Jr. have a big hit with Bug; guitarist, J Mascis plays a '63 Jazzmaster guitar on several tracks. Thurston Moore plays a Jazzmaster guitar on Sonic Youth's breakthrough double album, Daydream Nation. Other albums include Sting's Nothing Like The Sun and Frank Zappa's Guitar!
1989 Launch of the M-80 and Power Chorus amps, and the adorable little Mini Amp.

Chris Rea tops the charts with his biggest-selling album, The Road To Hell. Bonnie Raitt's Nick of Time also scales the charts.
1990 Fender reissues the classic 4x10 Bassman amp and introduces the H.O.T., R.A.D., ’63 Vibroverb re-issue, Super 210 and Super 112 amps. Fender's first five-string Fender basses are made.

Guitar whiz Adrian Belew plays a Stratocaster on his Young Lions album. Texas guitar wunderkind Eric Johnson scores big with his Ah Via Musicom.
1991 Leo Fender dies of complications of Parkinson's disease in March.

New this year is the Standard Series; plus the Power Chorus and X-15 amps, M-80 bass amp, Prodigy II guitar and Japanese HM Stratocaster.

Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and mega-album Nevermind spawn the grunge explosion. Pearl Jam's Ten is another grunge sensation.The Red Hot Chili Peppers release Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Buddy Guy releases Damn Right I've Got The Blues, and Eric Clapton releases his star-studded 24 Nights live album, which includes fellow Strat slingers Guy, Jimmie Vaughan and Robert Cray.
1992 The ’65 Twin Reverb Re-issue amp, SX and CX Series acoustics appear.

Rage Against The Machine release their eponymous debut album, and REM's multimillion-selling Automatic For The People tops the charts; the bassists in both groups play Fender basses. Nirvana play their legendary “wheelchair” gig on 30 Aug. at the U.K.'s Reading Festival.
1993 Fender Custom Shop amplifiers—Tone-Master, Vibro-King, Blues Deville and Blues Deluxe—are introduced. Also debuting are the Bullet, BXR 100, ’65 Deluxe Reverb re-issue and Performer 1000 amps; and the Richie Sambora Signature Stratocaster, Special Edition 1993 Stratocaster, Harley-Davidson® Stratocaster and Playboy® Stratocaster.

Nirvana release In Utero. Richard Thompson releases Watching The Dark.
1994 The Stratocaster turns 40 and is celebrated with the 40th Anniversary Stratocaster. BXR 15, BXR 60 and Pro Junior amps appear; as do the Spring Hill Series and AG Series acoustics, the Dick Dale Stratocaster, the Mexican-made Stratocaster Special and the Aluminium Stratocaster.

Jeff Buckley’s acclaimed Grace is released. Pearl Jam release Vitalogy. Blur release their Britpop breakthrough Parklife, with Graham Coxon's impeccable Telecaster work. Pink Floyd’s final album to date, The Division Bell, appears. Dave Navarro plays a Custom Shop Sunburst Stratocaster guitar with The Red Hot Chili Peppers at Woodstock '94; after the performance, for which all of the band members dressed as Jimi Hendrix, a white Stratocaster guitar is thrown into the crowd.
1995 Fender acquires Guild®. After taking an order from Keith Richards for a "beaten up" Telecaster, the Custom Shop begins making "relic" instruments. The popular DG Series acoustics debut. Bonnie Raitt becomes the first woman with a Fender signature guitar (the Bonnie Raitt Signature Stratocaster); other models include the Buddy Guy Signature Stratocaster, Carved Top Stratocaster, '54 Stratocaster FMT, '60 Stratocaster FMT, Japanese Floyd Rose® Standard Stratocaster, Japanese Foto Flame Stratocaster, Custom Shop Aloha Stratocaster and Custom Shop Black Beauty Stratocaster.

Radiohead go global with The Bends. Rancid release And Out Come the Wolves. Elastica splash the U.K. with their self-titled debut, with frontwoman Justine Frischmann on Telecaster guitar. Irish Stratocaster legend Rory Gallagher, 47, dies on 14 June.
1996 Fender moves U.S. amp production from Lake Oswego, Ore., to Corona, Calif., and celebrates its 50th anniversary with commemorative guitar and amps. Also released this year are the Jag-Stang®, Fat Strat, Tex-Mex Strat, Relic 60's Guitars, Custom Classics, Lone Star Stratocaster,Traditional Strat,Traditional Fat Strat, Richie Sambora Black Paisley Stratocaster (Japan) and Ventures Strat (Japan); plus Hot Rod and Roc Pro amps, and SPA power amps.

Alannis Morrisette plays a Stratocaster guitar on her massive-selling Jagged Little Pill. Nicky Wire plays a Jazz Bass on Everything Must Go by the Manic Street Preachers, and Eric Clapton’s four-disc Crossroads II is released.
1997 New products include the Big Apple Strat, Hank Marvin Stratocaster, Super Strat, Powerhouse Stratocaster, Jerry Donahue Hellecasters Stratocaster (Japan), Collectors' Edition Stratocaster (limited run of 1,997), Custom Shop Monterey Strat (limited run of 210), Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster, Automatic SE and GT Amps, California Series Guitars, Fender SRM Series powered mixers, Passport® portable P.A. system, Amp Can™, Jimmie Vaughan Signature Tex-Mex Stratocaster, '69 Stratocaster, Tex-Mex Strat, Telecaster Specials and Frontman Series amps. The DeltaTone™ System is added to Standard Stratocasters.

Telecaster whiz-kid Jeff Buckley drowns. Radiohead release OK Computer. Texas have a crossover hit with White On Blonde; lead singer Sharleen Spiteri plays her Telecaster guitar on the album. John Fogerty stages a successful comeback the Strat-filled Blue Moon Swamp.
1998 Fender’s new 177,000-square-foot state-of-the-art factory opens in Corona, Calif. The Relic line is re-organized; the Stratocaster now available with Relic, Closet Classic and N.O.S (New Old Stock) treatments. Fender SFX® (Stereo Field Expansion) Amplifier Technology is announced, and the Sunn line of amps is unveiled at the winter NAMM Show in Los Angeles. The four Fender Roadhouse exhibition trailers hit the road, one in the U.K./Europe and three in the United States. Also new: Showmaster Stratocaster, American Deluxe Series instruments with Fender Vintage-Noiseless™ Pickups, Standard Jazz Bass V, Hot-Rodded American Series, Toronado™, Cyclone™, '69 Telecaster Thinline, American Vintage Series, Passport 150, John Jorgenson Signature Custom Telecaster, Limited Edition Donald "Duck" Dunn Precision Bass, Limited Edition Matthias Jabs Stratocaster, Will Ray Signature Mojo Telecaster, Standard Roland Ready Stratocaster, 1998 Collector's Edition Telecaster, Deluxe Series Models, American Special Models, Marcus Miller Jazz Bass, Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, Buck Owens Telecaster.

Strat player Tom Delonge and Blink 182 release Cheshire Cat. Meanwhile. Lauren Hill's The Miseducation of Lauren Hill, one of the biggest-selling albums of the decade, features reggae legend Chinna Smith palying a Stratocaster guitar.
1999 Fender's Ensenada factory produces its first Classic Series Stratocaster. also appearing are Dyna-Touch amps, Classic Telecaster guitars, Princeton Chorus DSP and Acoustasonic Pro amps, the Stu Hamm "Urge" Bass II®, the Power Telecaster, new American Vintage Instruments, the Deluxe Fat Strat, the Hot-Rodded Precision bass, the Jaco Pastorius Jazz bass, the LTB mixer and speakers, and Classic Series instruments. Fender introduces the DeArmond® line of guitars and basses.

Eric Clapton sells his Sunburst Stratocaster guitar, “Brownie” at auction for $497,500. Blink 182’s Enema Of The State propels them to stardom in the U.K. Travis break through with The Man Who, featuring Fran Healy on Telecaster guitar. Stereophonics, with Richard Jones on Precision bass, release Performance And Cocktails. Feeder have great success with Yesterday Went Too Soon, with Grant Nicholas playing a '67 Jazzmaster guitar. John Frusciante makes a spectacular comeback on the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication.
2000 American Series guitars and basses replace the American Standard Series. Debuts inclue the '65 Super Reverb reissue amp, Sub-Sonic™ guitar, Stratocoustic™ and Telecoustic™ guitars, new folk and bluegrass instruments, Acoustasonic™ 30 amp, FV-3 violin, Bassman amp and Muddy Waters Tribute Telecaster.

Coldplay begin their ascent with the album Parachutes; guitarists Jonny Buckland and Chris Martin play a variety of Fender models. Deftones chart with White Pony. Doves release their classic Lost Souls album. Strat player Geno Lenardo and his band, Filter, release Take A Picture.
2001 Fender U.S.A. moves its corporate headquarters to a new location in Scottsdale, Ariz. New products include the Cyber-Twin® guitar amp, XP Series loudspeakers, 50th Anniversary American Series Precision Bass, Sting and Steve Harris signature Precision basses, Zone Bass™ guitars, Pro Series amps, GN-45 SCE and GC-42 S acoustic guitars, exotic wood Jazz Bass models, updated Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck Stratocaster guitars, Custom Shop 50th Anniversary Precision bass, Tom Delonge signature Stratocaste, Grand Auditorium acoustic guitars and the '65 Super Reverb re-issue amp.

The Strokes invade the U.K. with their album Is This It? Ryan Adams comes to the fore with his Gold album, featuring the multitalented musician playing several Fender instruments. Telecaster tones are heard on Elbow’s debut, Asleep In The Back. Jack White’s Twin Reverb sound is heard on the White Stripes’ White Blood Cells album. Buddy Guy stages a comeback with his highly acclaimed Sweet Tea album. Turin Brakes release The Optimist LP.
2002 Jackson®/Charvel® Manufacturing Inc. is created under the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) banner as Fender acquires both brand names. New this year are the Cyber-Deluxe amp, Cyber-Twin head, American Special Toronado™ Competition Mustang guitar, Mark Hoppus signature bass, Dyna-Touch™ Plus DSP amps, Mustang bass reissue, Buddy Guy Polka Dot Stratocaster, new look Cyclone guitar, Passport Deluxe 150 and 250 portable sound systems, Reggie Hamilton signature Jazz Bass and Jazz Bass V.

Clash founder/frontman Joe Strummer dies. Coldplay release A Rush of Blood to the Head. Aussie rockers the Vines create a sensation with their debut album, Highly Evolved; guitarist Craig Nicholls smashes more then 150 Stratocaster guitars this year. Cooper Temple Clause release See This Through And Leave.
2003 FMIC is granted the rights to develop, produce, market and distribute Gretsch® products worldwide. Many new Fender products appear: figured wood and metallic Showmaster® models, Acoustasonic™ amps with DSP effects, American Deluxe Series guitars with a new pickup design, Global Design Series acoustics, PRO Series bass heads and cabinets, 800 Pro Bass head, American Series Precision Bass with S-1™ switching, Highway 1™ Texas Telecaster, American Series Ash Telecaster, Cyclone HH, Jimmy Bryant signature Telecaster, Custom Shop Flat Head Showmaster guitar, American Series Jazz Bass with S-1 switching, Rumble™ Series bass combos, FM65R Guitar combo, FR-50 CE resonator guitar and FR-51 resonator bass, Splatter Stratocaster, Acoustasonic SFX™ II acoustic combo, Jag-Stang reissue, GJ-46 SCE, GC-42 SCE, and Big Tex acoustic guitars, American Series Stratocaster HSS with S-1 switching, American Series Stratocaster HH with S-1 switching, Mark Knopfler Stratocaster, Cyber-Champ combo, Custom Shop J5 Telecaster, 400 PRO bass combo, Robert Cray Stratocaster, Highway 1 Showmaster HSS, Standard Series Stratocaster Satin Finish, Custom Shop '55 Precision Bass, Pink Paisley and Blue Flower reissue Stratocaster guitars and basses, Custom Shop Seymour Duncan Esquire, Artist Series Marcus Miller Jazz bass V, American Series Telecaster HS, Highway 1 Stratocaster LH, Highway 1 Stratocaster HSS, '51 Precision Bass, Custom Shop '59 Esquire, Esquire Custom Scorpion, Esquire Custom GT, Custom Shop 1960 Custom Telecaster, Showmaster Celtic H, Custom Shop '65 Stratocaster, Highway 1 Precision Bass, Highway 1 Toronado, Aerodyne™ Jazz Bass I, Strat-o-Sonic™ Black Dove™ I and II guitars, Esquire Custom Celtic guitar, Acoustasonic Stratocaster and '64 Vibroverb Custom amp.

Biffy Clyro make a lasting impression with The Vertigo Of Bliss. Oceansize release the majestic Effloresce. The Strokes are back with the acclaimed Room On Fire album. Jeff Beck scores a hit with his latest album, cleverly titled Jeff. Bluesy Stratocaster tones fill Sonny Landreth's hit album, The Road We're On. Hell Is For Heroes assault the charts with The Neon Handshake.
2004 FMIC celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stratocaster. Several celebrations take place, culminating in a concert at London's Wembley Arena featuring guitar legends including David Gilmour, Gary Moore, Hank Marvin, Ronnie Wood and Joe Walsh. FMIC introduces its Fender Bass Amplification division, dedicated to the development, design and marketing of cutting-edge bass amplification. FMIC also buys SWR® bass amplification and moves production moves to the Corona, Calif., facility.

New gear includes the 50th Anniversary Custom Shop, American Deluxe Series and American Series Stratocaster guitars; the FBZ-66 bouzouki (!), FMO-66 octave mandolin, SR6300 and SR8500 powered mixers, Passport P-80 portable PA system, Steel-King® pedal steel guitar combo, Dyna-Touch™ III amps, John 5 Telecaster, TBP-1 Tube Bass Preamp, 50th Anniversary Golden Stratocaster and Custom Shop Limited Edition SRV Tribute Stratocaster.

Eric Clapton sells his most treasured Stratocaster guitar, “Blackie,” for $959,500, a record at the time. Fender-filled albums include A Crow Left Of The Murder from Incubus, Shatterproof Is Not A Challenge by Hundred Reasons, Who Killed The Zutons? by—you guessed it—the Zutons, Snow Patrol's The Final Straw and the Thrills' Let's Bottle Bohemia.
2005 Bill Schultz retires as Fender CEO; he is succeeded by Bill Mendello. An autographed Stratocaster becomes the world’s most expensive guitar, fetching £1,628,632 The guitar, signed by a host of top musicians, was bought at an Indian Ocean tsunami benefit relief event in Qatar by Sheihka Miyyassah Al Thani of the Qatari royal family. Tacoma® guitars become the newest addition to the FMIC family.

New products include the Jazz King™ amp, FM 15DSP and FM 25DSP guitar amps, Classic Series '50s Precision Bass, Big Block Series Stratocaster (and Telecaster and Precision Bass), MB-1200 bass power amp, Jazz Bass 24, Reggie Hamilton Standard Jazz Bass, DG-22 SCE exotic hardwood acoustics, Fender Blender custom reissue pedal, John Mayer signature Stratocaster, Eric Johnson signature Stratocaster, Fender footwear, Speed-e-tuner™, G-DEC™ amp, Custom Shop Mary Kaye Tribute Stratocaster, Metalhead™ guitar amps, Classic Series '50s Esquire and new Bassman combos.

Fender-iffic albums include the Kaiser Chiefs' Employment, Athlete's Tourist, Coldplay's X&Y, the Editors' The Back Room, the Cribs' New Fellas and Hard-Fi's Stars Of CCTV.
2006 Fender celebrates its 60th anniversary. New products are the 60th Anniversary Limited Edition instruments, Super-Sonic™ Series guitar amps, Acoustasonic Ultralight amp, Rumble 100/210 bass amp, ESV-10 12-fret orchestra and ESA-10 grand auditorium acoustic guitars, California Series acoustic guitars, Jazzmaster Ultralight amp, new-look James Burton signature Telecaster, Tony Franklin signature fretless Precision Bass and Victor Bailey signature fretless Jazz basses.

The Arctic Monkeys catch the music industry napping with their MySpace®-promoted best-selling album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. The Zutons release Tired of Hangin’ Around.

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