Founding Fender Custom Shop builder George Blanda retires after 35 years

(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has announced the retirement of Chief Design Engineer George Blanda, one of the original Custom Shop founding members, on April 3. Blanda has been with Fender for 35 years. 

Blanda first joined Fender in 1985 as Senior Design Engineer in the newly-created Fender Custom Shop, and was initially tasked with making artist signature electric guitar models. He was soon recruited, by then Director of Marketing Dan Smith , to help overhaul Fender’s product in the wake of the CBS era.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.