Costello came snarling out of the U.K. in the mid-1970s with an edgy talent and image that immediately set him apart from the punk massesâ€”impeccable pop songcraft, caustically literate lyrics, an angular stage presence, black horn-rimmed glassesâ€”and an ever-present Fender Jazzmaster. At the time, the Jazzmaster guitar had largely fallen from fashion until Costelloâ€™s phenomenal success seemed to lift it to new and previously unknown heights of appreciation. Throughout the 1980s, 1990s and right up to today, legions of new-wave, alt-rock and indie-rock players prized the resurgent Jazzmaster for its versatile tone and subversive cool.
â€œThis is a brutal-sounding guitar,â€� Costello said of his Jazzmaster. â€œIt suits the way I play. But this guitarâ€”itâ€™s had a funny life. And Iâ€™ve just always stuck with it; I always come back to it. Iâ€™ve done all sorts of different music, but whenever itâ€™s involved electric guitar, I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s one record Iâ€™ve made on which the Jazzmaster doesnâ€™t feature somewhere.â€�
â€œThe original guitar this model is based upon has been refinished, rebuilt, and has a new neck with Elvisâ€™ name inlaid into the fingerboard, so we had to reference a lot of â€™70s-era photography, as well as Elvisâ€™ personal anecdotes, to get it right,â€� said Justin Norvell, Fender marketing manager for electric guitars. â€œElvis dialed in the finer detailsâ€”the points that photos canâ€™t tell you, like the feel and setup and the exact hue and luster of the finishâ€”things only he would know.â€�
Costello remains as busy as ever today, touring this summer with the Police and debuting in December 2008 as the host of Spectacle: Elvis Costello With ..., a Sundance Channel television series in which Costello plays host to artists and other personalities for an hour of discussion and performance.
Pricing and Availability:
The new Elvis Costello Signature Jazzmaster guitar will be available through authorized Fender dealers beginning May, 2008 with an MSPR of $2149.99 (U.S.).