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Fender, the most renowned name in guitars, finally opens its doors to the (headbanging, riff-rocking, string-picking) public.
One definition of an ax murderer — admittedly? one that’s rarely used — is someone who is handed a magnificent guitar and butchers the task of playing it. Yet such an ?individual still has a deep and abiding kinship with the professorial virtuoso, the garage-band hacker, the part-time plucker, the veteran session man, the fumbling beginner and others in various subcategories of six-string musician.
Hourlong tours are given twice daily
every weekday, except Wednesday,
at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
<< Adults: $10
<< Seniors: $8
<< Students ages 13–17: $6
<< Children ages 9–12: free
(must be accompanied by an adult/guardian)
The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekday except Wednesday.
Naturally it only follows that every devotee holds some appreciation for the workmanship that goes into a gleaming new guitar — especially one with the name Fender emblazoned on it. Fender guitars are, in a word, sexy. The smooth and seductive contours. The glamorous colors. The fetching accessories. The meticulous attention to detail, quality and class. The way they gleam and sparkle when they look at you. The way they beckon you to hold them. The way they can sound like an angel or a devil or anything in between, depending on the genre of music being played. In the world of romance, Fender makes the notion of a long-term commitment seem much less daunting.
“I used to ride the bus downtown from Oak Cliff [a Dallas neighborhood] and look at the Fender guitars in the window,” recalls blues great Jimmie Vaughan, brother of Stevie Ray, of the power of the Fender name. “That guitar represented everything. It was like having a ’58 Impala.”
Realizing this (albeit later than most of their competitors), the renowned Fender guitar company finally opened the doors to its U.S. manufacturing center for the first time in its 66-year history last September, offering tours of its factory as well as entry to its spiffy new visitor center. For those of us whose lives have been ruled by wicked licks, nasty riffs and monster jams, this is our heavenly reward.