Fender unleash new Artist Signature models for 2021

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Fender unleash new Artist Signature models for 2021

Words by Will Brewster

Featuring models for Mike McCready, Chrissie Hynde, Joe Strummer and more.

After a massive year of product launches that saw signature models released for the likes of Tom Morello, Jim Root, HER and our very own Tash Sultana, Fender have shared details of what Artist Signature models to expect in 2021, and there’s some huge names to be excited about.

First up to the crease is the awe-inspiring Mike McCready 1960 Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster; a pinpoint recreation of the Pearl Jam lead guitarist’s own vintage guitar. A limited edition run that will consist of a mere 60 units, this Masterbuilt model is crafted by the Custom Shop’s Vincent Van Trigt, who meticulously recreated every single scratch, scuff and scrape of McCready’s own Stratocaster.

The guitar features a flat-sawn maple neck with a 1960 ‘oval C’ profile and a flat-lam rosewood fretboard, with a Relic lacquer finish coating its two-piece select alder body. Custom hand-wound Josefina pickups are wired to a five-way switch with a treble bleed tone capacitor, while a Callaham bridge block, bone nut, vintage synchronised tremolo and three-ply vinyl pickguard round out this incredible instrument.

The Mike McCready 1960 Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster comes with a deluxe hardshell case with case candy, a strap, certificate of authenticity and a polishing cloth – not that you’d need it with this beaten up thing. If you’re keen for a slice, this one will set you back $21,999 AUD, but we’re sure it’s totally worth it.

Next, there’s the Chrissie Hynde Telecaster; honouring the legendary guitarist of The Pretenders and her instrument of choice – a ’65 Tele – over the span of her career. With an Faded Ice Blue Metallic finish covering an alder body, this guitar features vintage ’50s style single-coil pickups voiced to match Chrissie’s original.

Other features include a six-barrel saddle bridge and locking tuners, a rosewood fretboard and a custom-worn pickguard. Keep your eyes peeled for this one when it hits stores next month.

Elsewhere in Telecaster land, Fender are set to introduce the Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster in May, paying tribute to the Grammy Award winning country guitarist. With a road worn Chocolate Sunburst finish, this model boasts a mid-’60s C-shaped maple neck and rosewood fretboard, with vintage-voiced pickups and a double-bound body helping to affirm this one as a total twang machine that doesn’t skimp out in the looks department.

Best known as the frontman of emo rock icons Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service, Ben Gibbard is also set to receive his own signature model this year with the Ben Gibbard Mustang. A modified take on one of Gibbard’s trusty ’70s Mustangs, this Artist Signature model features a chambered ash body for reduced weight and enhanced resonance, plus a one-piece maple neck with 22 frets. It’s expected to land in March 2021.

Finally, there’s the unlikely announcement of a signature acoustic guitar for The Clash’s Joe Strummer, with the Joe Strummer Campfire guitar said to be inspired by the campfires the punk rock icon would perform at while attending Glastonbury Festival. Landing later in March, it packs a solid spruce top with mahogany accounting for the back and sides, while other appointments include star fretboard inlays, inbuilt electronics, nickel hardware and a matte black finish.

Fender have also teased another Joe Strummer signature guitar for release in 2021, with the Fender Custom Shop gearing up to launch the Joe Strummer ’59 Esquire later in April. We’ll keep you posted with all the specs and details when they arrive in the next few weeks!

Find out more via Fender Music Australia.