“No-one was looking at the Strat when Yngwie picked one up in ’86 – everybody had left it behind after Hendrix. It just continues to reinvent itself and get rediscovered”: Justin Norvell has to guard Fender’s glittering past, while securing its future

Justin Norvell
(Image credit: Fender)

Justin Norvell has one of the biggest jobs in the guitar industry. Put simply, he is the person who decides what Fender does – or does not – make.

He started where we all did, as a player. For Norvell, though, that hobby has turned into a responsibility: one that sees him tasked with holding up the legacy of Fender’s historic and commercial position as the world’s number one guitar firm.

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Matt Parker
Features Editor, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is Features Editor for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.