Budweiser bodies and a new kind of competition stripe? Feast your eyes on Fender Japan’s early Christmas present: the Wasted Youth Telecaster and Mustang Bass collection

Fender Japan Wasted Youth Telecaster and Fender Japan Wasted Youth Mustang Bass
(Image credit: Fender Japan)

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without one last end-of-year release from Fender Japan – the Big F’s Asian branch that has been the brain behind some of the company’s best new releases in recent memory.

Around this time last year, we were treated to the Elemental Series of electric guitars, which debuted high-spec, mid-priced Stratocasters, Telecasters and Jazzmasters that catered especially to modern players. These, it turns out, were totally worth the hype.

Now, for its 2023 stocking filler, FJ has partnered with renowned VK Design Works graphic artist Verdy to create two ultra-limited instruments: the Wasted Youth Telecaster and Mustang Bass.

Here, the term ‘Wasted Youth’ refers to Verdy’s artistic project, but its overall sentiment and messaging objective is exactly as you probably imagined: “Wasted Youth conveys the message that nothing has been wasted along the way.”

The Fender Japan release is Wasted Youth’s latest high-profile collaboration, having previously partnered with a number of domestic and international brands, including Casio and Budweiser.

That Verdy and his Wasted Youth movement has already partnered with the latter brand should come as no surprise, really, considering Budweiser imagery is absolutely plastered all over the body of the Telecaster.

Indeed, in July last year, Verdy was appointed as Budweiser Japan’s Creative Director, allowing him to seamlessly blend the brand’s design motifs with his other creative outlets. This lead to a series of beer cans that same month, before the release of a summer capsule collection. Then, in November this year, there was a Wasted Youth x Budweiser Fall fashion collection.

So, having tackled the worlds of fashion and, erm, beer cans, it’s only natural that Verdy would translate his passion for Wasted Youth, Budweiser and daring graphic design into the world of guitars.

There’s not much more to be said, really: if you're a fan of beer and bold body artwork, you’re probably going to dig the Wasted Youth Telecaster. It’s a standard Tele template – alder body, U-shape maple neck, 21-fret rosewood fingerboard and vintage-style single-coils – though with some choice cosmetic upgrades.

Namely, the Budweiser logo-shaped inlays, special engraved neck plate with (you guessed it) Budweiser branding, and the Wasted Youth x Budweiser beer can sticker design that wraps the entire body.

Fender Japan Wasted Youth Mustang Bass

(Image credit: Fender Japan)

If the Telecaster is a tad bold for your tastes – if you’re more of a cider drinker, let’s say – the drop has also included a far more subtle Mustang Bass, which complements the Competition-style body stripe with the Wasted Youth logo.

There’s also a flash Blue Sparkle finish (one of Verdy’s personal favorites) and the same special neck plate that can be found on the Tele. In case you were wondering, the bass itself features an alder body, maple neck and a '60s Split single-coil pickup.

Both of the above arrive with a T-shirt and guitar picks designed specifically for this drop, as well as a hardcase bearing the hand-painted stencil of the Wasted Youth logo, completed by Verdy himself.

The above models are part of a highly limited run that will go on sale tomorrow (December 23). In FJ’s flagship store, the sale will start at 11am and will comprise 16 Teles and Mustang Basses. Online, 17 of each will be available at 12pm.

Price-wise, the Telecaster and Mustang Bass are listed for 385,000 Japanese Yen apiece, which roughly converts to $2,709.

Head over to Fender Japan to find out more.

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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.