Jeanne Moreau (French actress and singer) and Miles Davis
With this years launch of the “Fender Select” series, I find myself wondering what the hell the world needs another $2000 Strat for. I love the Fender company and honestly have a hard time even considering a guitar from another company (mostly because I hate humbuckers and p-90s) but these people are seriously fucking up. If one of the executives of the company were to take a look at the vintage market with any bit of sense in his mind, it would be obvious that there is a huge chunk of change that they are missing out on. The Coronado was an extremely short production guitar when compared to most of the other models, which of course means that on ebay the asking price is at least $4000. The Bass VI is extremely sought after now a days, so much so that other companies are selling parts for you to make your own! Schecter has 2-3 Bass VI type guitars, can you guess why? It’s because Robert Smith played a VI in the cure and Fender had already discontinued the instrument. Someone needed to supply him. Now when Kurt Cobain went on stage with Jaguars and Mustangs, Fender broke their necks to get those back out on the shelves. Another smart move Schecter made was their electric 12 string. This is not as similar to the Fender XII as their Hellcat VI is to the Bass VI, but the fact still remains that if they continue to make this, it’s obviously selling. I know for a fact that if Fender dropped a new XII it would sell like condoms in a night club bathroom.
The overall issue I’m seeing here honestly does come from the foundation of the Fender company. Leo Fender was not a guitar player, and therefore ran his company from the perspective of a manufacturer and not a luthier. Everything was designed to be stylish and cost effective, and not really to meet the needs of musicians. The Jag, Bass VI and Jazzmaster were discontinued after the surf music craze died and they weren’t considered “cool” anymore. Same thing happened to the XII after the jangly British invasion. There also was a slew of short lived 80s guitars, although I don’t think they should have ever been made at all. I just don’t get the business decisions here. Making guitars that you think fit a specific genre and discontinuing them when you decide they aren’t cool anymore is a stupid way to run a company. And if these guitars aren’t cool, how is it that I see Bass VI’s selling for $8,000? That’s money Fender could be making by simply reissuing the instrument.