Like the Ray-Ban Wayfarer or the Converse Chuck Taylor, Fender guitars are an enduring part of America's pop-culture iconography. They're at once synonymous with America, rock and roll, and the surf sound of Southern California. Fender started in Fullerton, California in 1946 and is still manufacturing in the US in a factory not too far from their original HQ. Because the intersection of women and guitars often scores high on the tomboy scale, I wanted to explore deeper into the storied company and check out the factory. It was incredible to see these guitars being turned out—from their original blocks of wood to the stamped-out pick guards to the wiring of the pick-ups to the hand-painted sunburst paint jobs. The factory tour ($10 for adults) is open to the public, so if you ever find yourself near Corona, California and wanting to know how guitars are made, this is an hour you won't regret.
There are some great mainstream Fender players in the Tomboy archives, like Bonnie Raitt and Tina Weymouth, but my favorite at current is probably Elena Tonra of the band Daughter, who in the video below plays a Telecaster—the original Fender release.
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