Barry Cleveland: Images From the Fender Visitor Center Celebration

September 16, 2011
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I had a wonderful time last night at the Private Pre-Opening Celebration of the new Fender Visitor Center in Corona, California. Besides being shown around the extraordinary 8,600-square-foot Center, we were given a tour of the adjacent factory and Custom Shop, there was plenty of food and drink, Dave Mason, Raphael Saadiq, and Buddy Guy performed—and we had a chance to hang with all of the fine folks at Fender.
 
 
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The entrance to the Fender Visitor Center Celebration.
 
 
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 It was a beautiful evening and food and drink were in abundant supply.
 
 
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 Fender Senior VP of Global Marketing Richard McDonald gave an opening address.
 
 
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 GP’s Art Thompson, MPN Group Publisher Joe Perry, and Fender Guitar Amp
Senior Marketing Manager Shane Nicholas (left to right).
 
 
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 The scene inside the Center.
Note the song titles on the walls commemorating tunes played using Fender gear.
 
 
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Another wall of fame.
 
 
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 The Jackson Guitars wall of fame.
 
 
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 MPN Group Publisher Joe Perry, Gretsch Guitars Product Manager Joe Carducci,
and MPN Director of Advertising Sales Albert Margolis (left to right).
 
 
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 Seymour Duncan, Phyllis Fender, and Fender CEO Larry Thomas (left to right).
 
 
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 This long wall of hanging necks in the Fender factory caught my eye.
 
 
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 Dave Mason opened the show with a passionate and classy performance.
 
 
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 Soul man Raphael Saadiq sounded like a blend of Smokey Robinson and Prince.
He also played a mean rhythm guitar on some songs.
 
 
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Blues legend Buddy Guy closed the show.
He was joined by his 12-year-old protégé Quinn Sullivan for part of his set.

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