2008: The Year Of The Jaguar (And Jazzmaster!)
No, we’re not talking about Chinese New Year or anything like that…but about the remarkable amount of new Jaguar and Jazzmaster guitars that Fender are releasing in 2008.
Back in the 70’s and 80’s, few guitars were as unfashionable as a Jaguar or Jazzmaster. Who cared about 50’s music and surf rock, anyway? Though arguably bearing some of the most fresh and exciting designs Leo Fender came up with, those guitars were left pretty much forgoten, when rock music moved more towards Classic Rock, Stadium Rock and hair spray.
In other words – Fender Jaguars and Jazzmaster became quite cheap, and found their way in the hands of many new punk and new wave bands who couldn’t afford expensive gear: they became the instruments of choice of people such as legendary New York punk band Television, and of a young Elvis Costello.
Later on, those guitars were also adopted by alternative rock bands such as Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine.
When, in late 1991, Nirvana became the biggest band in the world, things would change forever – one of Kurt Cobain’s favourite guitars was a Fender Jaguar (hot-rodded to accomodate two humbuckers instead of single coil pickups) and since them, Jaguars and Jazzmasters have enjoyed a popularity like never before.
Kurt Cobain and his modded Fender Jaguar
Fast forward to 2008, and Fender is now releasing some remarkable new additions to the Jaguar and Jazzmaster ranges.
Following the Elvis Costello Jazzmaster, released last april, Fender has now, at the recent Summer NAMM, announced the release of new and improved Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars: the Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster® Special, Fender Classic Player Jaguar® Special and Fender Classic Player Jaguar® Special HH.
|Above: the new Jaguars
…And new Jazzmasters
The latter is possibly the most interesting of the lot: Fender is finally making a new Jaguar that closely resembles that of Kurt Cobain – Nirvana, fans, it’s time to start saving, because this is it, the guitar you’ve been waiting for!
The Fender Classic Player Jaguar Special HH guitar turbocharges Fender’s iconic Jaguar model with some thoroughly modern improvements, and looks reminiscent of Kurt Cobain’s iconic modded Jaguar. Revolutionary electronics include a blendable coil tap for more tones than ever.
Dual humbucking pickups add a whole different sonic dimension. The Jaguar’s 9.5″ fingerboard radius and a neck pocket with increased back-angle improve stability and sustain. The Jaguar guitar’s tremolo plate has been moved closer to the bridge to increase break angle and sustain.
The Fender Classic Player Jaguar Special HH Electric Guitar has a screw-in tremolo arm the increases stability and control when executing divebombs, and a master cut switch to provide cool effects.
The other two new models, the Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster® Special and Fender Classic Player Jaguar® Special, are equally innovative and Jaguar and Jazzmaster fans are sure to get very excited about those new releases.
Above: Kevin Shields and Belinda Butcher of My Bloody Valentine – very happy about their Jazzmasters!
With shoegaze legends My Bloody Valentine – longtime users of Jaguars and Jazzmasters – stunning audiences with their hugely successful comeback gigs, more people are sure to feel inspired by the stunning looks and sounds of a cool Fender Jaguar or Jazzmaster – not the unloved, cheap guitar of years gone by, but still quite reasonably priced when compared to many other guitars on the market!
2008 is truly the “Year Of The Jaguar” (and Jazzmaster!) so…maybe it’s time for you to try one, too!
You can find the new Jaguars and Jazzmasters on all the best online retailers. All are priced £569.99 at Dolphin. View: