Carl Verheyen on Fender

March 01, 2010

 I’ve been playing Fender Stratocasters pretty much every day since I got my first “real” one in 1985.  In the '70s I played Gibson ES-335s and a Les Paul or two.  In the early '80s I favored a few hot-rod Strats made by various local parts-assemblers and guitar techs.  But when I found my 1961 Sea Foam Green Fender Strat back in '85, I knew I had found the instrument that would help me truly achieve the sound I wanted.

In recognition of these last 25 years of Stratocaster flogging, Fender flew me out to Scottsdale, Arizona, yesterday to meet the crew, tour the offices and get a feel for what goes on out there. Growing up in Southern California, I knew exactly where it all went down in Fullerton when Leo, Freddy, Don, Forrest, Charlie and a few others were innovating, designing and changing musical history. But as I toured the building and read the various displays and Hall of Fame plaques at Fender headquarters in Scottsdale, I couldn’t help feeling the buzz and historic overtones. 

During the subsequent years since 1985, I’ve acquired so much Fender gear I’m embarrassed to put it in print.          Although I’ve had a relationship with the company in the past, yesterday felt like a homecoming of sorts, a reconnection to my heart and soul of rock 'n' roll.   When I woke up this morning the first thing I did was hook up a ‘63 blonde Fender tube reverb unit in front of my Fender Vibrotone (Leslie) cabinet and hit it hard with a brand new Tele through a Tremolux amp head turned up to 8.   Now that’s a tone!


A bluesman honors a bluesman.
The session great talks about meeting B.B. in 1970.
“I learned about showmanship from Guitar Slim,” remembers Buddy Guy. “It was the first time I ever saw a Strat in my life....
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