Fender's 75th anniversary celebrations continue with book chronicling the company's storied history

Fender 75 Years book
(Image credit: Motorbooks)

Fender's 75th anniversary has brought us the release of a number of limited edition commemorative electric guitars, but once you've bought the Stratocaster and played the Tele, why not sit down to read Fender 75 Years to broaden your appreciation of a company that, through Leo Fender's restless innovation, changed guitar history for keeps?

Taking a deep dive into history of the company, from its 1946 lap steel to the present day, Fender 75 Years was written by prolific author and contributor to our friends at Guitar Player Dave Hunter, and is packed with archive photography.

Hunter will unpack the stories behind the instruments – placing them in context of instrument and amp design at the time – analyze the impact they made and unearth a few deep cuts from the Fender lineup that have been forgotten along the way. He will also shed light on the role of the Custom Shop in the Fender story.

Of course, the story of a guitar brand like Fender can't just be told from the shop floor, and Fender 75 Years zooms out to talk about some of players who have elevated the Fender name. 

The book examines the relationship between Fender and artists such as Hank Marvin, James Burton, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, J Mascis and Kurt Cobain – all of whom are synonymous with a Fender instrument.

Fender 75 Years is published by Motorbooks and will be released in September September 21, followed by a deluxe edition arriving on October 19 – indeed, let's call that the Custom Shop edition, as it is strictly limited to 500 copies, arrives in a case and will set you back $175. The regular hardback is priced $50. Both are available to preorder now.

Hunter has a myriad of guitar-related titles to his name, including Ultimate Star Guitars: The Guitars That Rocked the World (Voyageur Press) and 365 Guitars, Amps & Effects You Must Play (Voyageur Press) and has written histories of the Stratocaster and Les Paul

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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.