January 4, 2015

IT'S NOT THE HAMMOND B3, BUT...:

Weapon Of Choice: Why The Stratocaster Survives (ROBERT GOLDSTEIN, 1/03/15, NPR)

Quick: Name an American product that's had a worldwide impact, is more popular than ever, yet still looks the same as it did when it was introduced more than a half-century ago? Here's a hint: It might be the only musical instrument whose fame rivals that of the people who've played it.

The Fender Stratocaster turned 60 last year. When it came out of the factory in 1954, it didn't sound -- or look -- like any other guitar. Leo Fender's small company was looking to improve the Telecaster, its groundbreaking solid-body electric, first introduced three years earlier. But far more than a tweak here or there, Fender created an entirely new instrument that's become almost synonymous with the phrase "electric guitar."

"If you were gonna draw an electric guitar from your mind's eye, most people would draw a Stratocaster as the shape," says Justin Norvell, Fender's Vice President of Marketing. "But the thing that connects people to that guitar and that shape is the music they grew up on."

Posted by at January 4, 2015 9:37 AM
  

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