Forward-thinking cultural icon Joe Strummer (1952-2002) was co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead singer of seminal British punk rock band the Clash. He later founded, recorded and toured with the Mescaleros. All his life, Strummer vigorously championed individuality, self-expression and changeâ€”tenets often reflected in the constantly altered look of his favorite and most recognizable instrumentâ€”his Telecaster (currently on display in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland).
The Joe Strummer Telecaster is modeled after the â€™66 Telecaster Strummer played throughout most of his career. Although the guitarâ€™s appearance changed often, it was a fairly standard â€™60s-era Telecaster with all the original parts and specifications.
When Strummer bought it in 1975 for Â£120, the instrument had a three-color sunburst finish, but he soon had it sprayed with gray primer at a London auto shop, and then later added a coat of black paint. These new â€œfinishesâ€� deteriorated quickly, giving the guitar its distinctive look. Like Strummerâ€™s music, the battered guitar changed constantlyâ€”plastered as it was with stencils, stickers and new paint jobs through the many stages of Strummerâ€™s life and career.
To celebrate Strummerâ€™s fierce sense of individuality, Fender and acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey collaborated on the new guitarâ€™s special Joe Strummer Telecaster Customization kit, which includes stencils and stickers inspired by the custom designs Strummer decorated many of his instruments with. The kit comes in a classic 12â€� album cover featuring Shepard Fairey graphics and photography by Bob Gruen. This collectable album art set is a limited edition companion to the first 1,500 guitars.
An avid Strummer fan and admirer, Fairey wrote a personal letter to Strummer in summer 2002, some of the text of which is reproduced in the customization kit. As Fairey reverently notes in his letter, â€œAs a visual artist, I have fashioned my approach in many ways after the Clash. I try to be provocative but humorous with my art. Hopefully, people can get a kick out of my stuff and ponder some issues at the same time â€¦ Thank you for your contribution to the world and my life.â€�
Pricing and Availability:
The Joe Strummer Telecaster will be available at music product retailers worldwide beginning July 2007.