The NAMM show recently wrapped up and as usual there were some awesome guitars, basses, amps, pro audio and so on. One that really caught my eye was the Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar. I am usually a telecaster enthusiast, but after reading about this guitar I am reall starting to appreciate and get into Jaguars and Mustangs. Of course not the cars, but the fender guitars. You can see the guitar on their website and I’ll post a link below.
Johnny Marr is an amazing guitarist. The Smiths were an outstanding band and in many ways shaped the current music scene. One of the key members was Johnny Marr. He had a very unique guitar sound. It was jangly and reverberating. He played an iconic lead and carried the rhythm. I don’t mean to undermine Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce, they were just as crucial. However, they dont currently have a signature Fender.
There are two things Marr helped to do. In a time when synth-pop reigned supreme and bands seemed to give way to solo and duo acts. He helped revitalize the popularity of the guitar. In fact the ’80s almost killed Martin guitars due to the low sales. Marr also helped bring back old styles that had fallen out of fashion in the 1960’s. Although Kurt Cobain really made the Fender Mustang popular, Marr’s Jaguar gave the Jaguar another shot.
These guitars are really cool. Leo fender was never a man to rest on his laurels and so after the stratocaster in 1954 he took some time and eventually developed the Jaguar Guitar in the 1960s. It had 2 single coil pickups, and several different knobs and switches to change the phases of the pickups, their circuit configurations and the lead or rhythm characteristics. It will never be as popular as a Strat or Tele but it’s a very interesting and one of the more advanced Fender guitars. It also had an off center waist which was another cool aesthetic feature. Finally, the Jaguar has this crazy looking tremelo system, which I personally feel that the strat tremolo was a better design but this one has stuck around. This system was touted as being a better tremolo sonically and structurally. The one thing that would piss me off is the arm sticks in between the b and e strings.
Anyway Marr’s guitar has a lot of small details that he likes in his Jaguar and like many gutiarists he has a very detailed video of the effort he put into his Jag. The biggest changes are the custom wound single coil pickups, the 4 blade pick up selector, the ’65 neck and the universal bright switch. Sounds pretty awesome. I usually have little interest in signature models, but this is one I would actually consider. Listening to how much someone cares about their instruments and the minute details really inspires.
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