Fender teams up with James Bay for one-of-a-kind Master Built Pink Lemonade Mustang

James Bay playing his Fender Pink Lemonade Mustang
(Image credit: James Bay/Instagram)

British indie-rock singer-songwriter and electric guitar powerhouse James Bay has teamed up with Fender for a one-of-a-kind Master Built Pink Lemonade Mustang.

Taking its name from Bay’s track Pink Lemonade, lifted from his 2018 album, Electric Light, the Mustang is the result of a collaborative effort between Bay, Fender Master Builder Paul Waller and pickup mastermind Curtis Novak.

Showcasing his new six-string on Instagram, Bay said, “I wanted to show you this new guitar. This is the Fender Pink Lemonade Mustang. There is only one in the world.

“Around about the time I was writing Pink Lemonade I was in this very indie slacker-rock head space – sonically as well – and I felt that guitars like the Mustang really epitomized that and everything that was inspiring me. So I asked Fender if they would build me this guitar.

“To my great surprise, they said yes,” he continued. “This is built by the amazing Master Builder Paul Waller at Fender Custom Shop, and he got Curtis Novak to hand-make these P-90 pickups. I’m in love with this guitar.”

“I absolutely love it and I think you will, too.”

While Bay is synonymous with his original 1966 Epiphone Century – which was reissued as a limited-edition signature guitar in 2017 – his wider guitar collection is full of some pretty spectacular six-strings, including a Gibson ES-330, custom P-90-loaded Frank Brothers guitar and Gibson SG Junior.

The common theme throughout seems to be the presence of P-90 pickups, so it comes as no surprise that Bay has opted to stick with his tried-and-trusted set up for his custom Mustang. His affinity for the P-90 is nothing new, either, after Bay told MusicRadar of his love of the pickup around the time his signature Century was released.

No other specs were revealed by Bay, though discernible appointments include a color-matched headstock – complete with Pink Lemonade lettering – as well as a tortoise shell pickguard and standard Mustang control circuit, comprising a three-way selector switch and master volume and tone knobs.

And, while we didn’t get an extended sonic look at the guitar, Bay does indeed preface his story by showcasing the grizzly clarity of Novak’s pickups and the Mustang's sleek playability by improvising over Pink Lemonade’s main hook.

Bay also concluded by promising the guitar will be getting plenty of action during his ongoing tour, so keep your eyes peeled on James Bay’s Instagram profile for further snaps of the Mustang in the future.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.