Why 2020 marks a new golden age for Fender

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

70 years have passed since Fender launched its first solid-body electric. A slab of pine with a solitary single-coil pickup appropriated from a lap steel, the Esquire showcased an adjustable three-saddle bridge, a bolt-on maple neck and a very appealing shape... 

In short order, via two quick evolutionary and appellative leaps, the Esquire became the Telecaster, and the rest is Fender history. But history has weight. Music, and popular culture as a whole, is governed by a nostalgia that can be gravitational, pulling anyone who thinks outside the box back to earth. It is no different for Fender. 

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.