At the tail end of 2022, Blink-182 guitarist Tom DeLonge delighted fans with the news that he’d returned to Fender for the pop-punk icons’ reunion, spec’ing up a radically different single-pickup take on the semi-hollow Starcaster design. Now, new social media posts reveal he has made the model even more his own.
In a new Instagram snap from DeLonge, he showcases a fresh graphic finish for the model, which recreates a 1947 newspaper article from the Roswell Daily Record, complete with the text ‘Flying Saucer’ and ‘Roswell’ on the headstock.
The article, headlined ‘RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region’ gave birth to one of the quintessential UFO legends – you can get a closer look over on Wired.com.
Besides his musical endeavors, DeLonge is actively involved in UFO research, and knows, well, too much – as he told Guitar World: “The US government is super-active when it comes to UFOs – they have been since the mid-’40s, maybe even a few years earlier… As far as videos, data and evidence, there is so much you wouldn’t be able to understand.”
OK, that’s the finish backstory out of the way; let’s get onto the guitar. Fender luthier Brian Thrasher – who was also behind the initial run of Shoreline Gold, Flat White, Shell Pink and Surf Green-finished guitars – has revealed the latest ‘Roswell’ model is the first of eight new custom designs. Whether they’ll all be UFO-themed remains to be seen, but Thrasher notes on his own Instagram post, “These are starting to get fun and we’ve had a bit of creative freedom on a few of them.”
Thrasher also reveals a few more of the guitar’s specifications in the comments. That single humbucker is a Seymour Duncan SH-5 overwound PAF-a-like, while a Gotoh tune-o-matic bridge anchors a set of Ernie Ball 11-52 electric guitar strings.
Otherwise, these look to be spec’d as per DeLonge’s initial batch, with an oversized ’70s Strat headstock and single volume control.
The custom Blink-182 smiley inlays were previously laid by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Ron Thorn, so it’s safe to assume he’s returning for this run of eight custom designs.
Before you ask, there’s still no confirmation of a signature guitar production run, but given the fan fervor surrounding these guitars, we wouldn’t be surprised to see models hitting shelves within the next year or two.
Blink-182’s South America and Mexico tour dates were due to get underway this month, but were delayed by drummer Travis Barker’s recent finger surgery. All of which means the first outing for the reunited band – and DeLonge’s new Starcaster – looks set to take place on May in St. Paul, Minneapolis. We can’t wait to see what finishes he has in store…