Vintage II: Electric Boogaloo
Faithful recreations of iconic guitar and bass models from Fender.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) has announced the American Vintage II Series, an electric guitar and bass range that celebrates Fender’s iconic models through the decades. The line is equipped with authentic specifications and aesthetics for lovers of vintage-inspired style and sound. During the monumental musical decades of the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, Fender shaped the sonic landscape with its innovative electric guitar and bass designs.
With vintage-inspired trends at a high point among tastemakers and consumers, Fender doesn’t have to go far to revive the iconic models that defined decades of music. Built in Corona, Calif., this new flagship series is a testament to the lasting influence and timeless designs from one of the world’s most iconic instrument makers. The range includes the Telecaster, Stratocaster, and Jazzmaster guitars, and Precision Bass and Jazz Bass models in their celebrated, original form. Harnessing vintage-inspired style, sound, and feel, the American Vintage II series elevates the playing experience for modern musicians, while maintaining the classic features that have influenced through the decades.
“The iconic models in the American Vintage II Series are a near 1:1 comparison with their original predecessors. Today they are built with precise, modern manufacturing processes that weren’t available in the past,” said Justin Norvell, Executive Vice President of Product, FMIC. “These original guitars and basses have long been coveted by avid players and vintage enthusiasts around the world for their aesthetic and tone that inspired some of the greatest music and most-identifiable guitar and bass lines of all time. Whether you’re after nostalgic guitar sounds in the studio, or a vintage-style instrument that can withstand the demands of the road, the American Vintage II series harnesses the best of Fender’s legacy and craftsmanship so modern musicians can innovate today’s soundscapes.”
The fascination with vintage eras is as prominent in today’s culture as it has ever been. From classic songs re-entering the charts decades later because of TikTok, thrifting as a sport, or even the obsession with mid-century homes, consumers are drawn to the vintage look and are constantly looking to satisfy the feeling of nostalgia. According to a study from Billboard, during the pandemic 55% of music consumers listened to music they used to listen to but haven’t heard in a while — evidence that people are seeking comfort from the past and wanting to give new life to items that were once considered old. This demand also extends to vintage instruments. To spark musical inspiration today with iconic guitars of the past, Fender’s American Vintage II Series breathes new life into a classic tool for players looking to create in today’s modern music landscape.
The series pays homage to the music and cultural moments they’ve inspired, countless and ever-evolving in reach and impact. In Fender’s most robust marketing campaign to-date alongside creative agency McGarrah Jessee, the launch kicks off with ‘Music Never Dies’, a 60 second launch film featuring a tailored collage of era specific footage underpinning the powerful, burning need to create music, and the impact that that has on culture. Fender has the honour of featuring the poet-performer, Patti Smith, one of the most influential artists from the ‘70s punk rock movement. The film comes to life as she lends her voice and signature Fender guitar feedback.
“If you’ve listened to popular music, chances are your favourite songs, guitar solos, and punchy bass lines were played on a Fender,” said Evan Jones, FMIC CMO. “It’s impossible to count the number of artists who have used these instruments to create some of the most memorable music that has spanned the last 76 years. Built to the original specs, these American Vintage II series models demonstrate both the timelessness and relevance of the Fender brand.”
In addition, Fender has teamed up with boundary-breaking country music duo Brothers Osborne, British vocalist, guitarist, singer and songwriter James Bay, legendary British rock guitarist Jeff Beck and more to bring the series to life. Each campaign artist will be featured in a four-part video series that showcases six guitars and basses in the collection through powerful vignettes that highlight the progression, inspiration and influence vintage gear has had on music through time; these videos will include personal conversations, performances of some original songs, and covers of songs from each American Vintage II decade that have influenced the artists’ personal sound. Fans can watch highlights of how iconic Fender guitar models continue to influence artists’ music today, with models being built to every last original spec.
“If you went back to the early 50s and bought a Tele, most likely, you will pick it up and it will look and play like this [American Vintage II ‘51 Telecaster guitar]. Fender definitely nailed it,” said T.J. and John Osborne of Brothers Osborne. “The reason why Fender guitars are great is because people played the hell out of these guitars, they were made to be played.”
To further amplify the American Vintage II Series launch, Fender and the McGarrah Jessee agency, will be hosting the first ever immersive pop-up near the the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Kicking off with a private VIP event on Thursday, 13th October — and open to consumers on Friday 14th October — the “Fender Presents: American Vintage II” pop-up event will take music lovers back in time to the 1950s when Fender’s legacy began. This immersive pop-up will include a performance by Adrian Quesada’s Boleros Psicodélicos on the VIP night, a direct-to-vinyl recording booth and most importantly, the opportunity to purchase the ‘51 Telecaster guitar at the original 1951 $229.90 price.
To further the impact of the campaign on a global scale, Fender will be hosting a second experiential pop-up in one of Tokyo’s most avant-garde neighbourhoods, where consumers can purchase the ‘57 Stratocaster guitar at the original $274.50 1957 price.
“We are excited to push the full breadth of our global marketing support for the American Vintage II series,” adds Evan Jones, FMIC CMO. “Inspired by the 1950s — and great legacy of Leo Fender’s original inventions — these events will deliver an immersive experience, celebrate the nostalgia of both the 1951 Telecaster and the 1957 Stratocaster in the American Vintage II Series, and provide exclusive early access to the initial production runs of these great guitars and other Fender memorabilia.”
Fender’s American Vintage II Series, expertly crafted in Corona, Calif., is a testament to the lasting influence and timeless design of one of the world’s most iconic instrument makers. The guitars and basses come in nitrocellulose lacquer finishes, with period-correct pickups and neck profiles, vintage-style hardware and traditional Fender tonewoods used from the ‘50s through to today. This series isn’t just about replicating these iconic models, it’s about recreating the inspiration they generate and sharing that inspiration with a new generation of musicians.
- Nitrocellulose lacquer finishes (where era-appropriate)
- Vintage-style neck profiles
- Heirloom-quality year-specific pickups
- Traditional Ash and Alder tonewood bodies
- Vintage-style hardware
- Vintage-style cases
Series models include:
- American Vintage II ‘51 Telecaster guitar and American Vintage II ‘51 Telecaster LH guitar. US$2,249.99 / A$2,399
- American Vintage II ‘54 Precision Bass. US$2,249.99 / A$4,399
- American Vintage II ‘57 Stratocaster guitar and American Vintage II ‘57 Stratocaster LH guitar. US$2,099.99-$2,249.99 / A$4,099-$4,399
- American Vintage II ‘60 Precision Bass. US$2,099.99 / A$4,099
- American Vintage II ‘61 Stratocaster guitar and American Vintage II ‘61 Stratocaster LH guitar. US$2,099.99 / A$4,099
- American Vintage II ‘63 Telecaster guitar. US$2,099.99-$2,249.99 / A$4,099-$4,399
- American Vintage II ‘66 Jazz Bass and American Vintage II ‘66 Jazz Bass LH. US$2,299.99 / A$4,499
- American Vintage II ‘66 Jazzmaster guitar. US$2,399.99 / A$4,699
- American Vintage II ‘72 Telecaster Thinline guitar. US$2,399.99 / A$4,699
- American Vintage II ‘73 Statocaster guitar. US$2,279.99 / A$4,449
- American Vintage II ‘75 Telecaster Deluxe guitar. US$2,299.99 / A$4,499
- American Vintage II ‘77 Telecaster Custom guitar. US$2,199.99 / A$4,299