Trippin' back through time to my basement when I was 10 years old. Dad, you see, was a rocker at heart and occasionally would host band practice there. I loved the velvety lined guitar cases and solid black amplifiers with all the knobs and above all the gigantic by today's standards silvery microphone. Every year when it's Leo Fender's birthday, I get nostalgic over the way that guitar case gently cradled Dad's Fender Jaguar. It even smelled cool. So, I grew up around all these rock n roll elements, apparently making it inevitable I would land in the proximity of Leo Fender's creations for the rest of my life.
His story is cool. We hardly ever cobble anything of substance together anymore. Why would we when we can order it up on Amazon. But Leo Fender was about 13 when he started goofing around in his Uncle's Auto Shop with old radio parts. By the time he graduated High School, when some of us were grasping for life goals, Leo was headed off to college thinking he was going for an Econ degree. The entire time, noodling around with electronics. Econ Degree achieved, he just wasn't all in for what that meant, and spent some time as an Ice Delivery guy. Yeah, that was a thing!! Then worked for the highway department in Cali and a tire company as an accountant. Possibly, he would've faded into obscurity if the Depression in the '30's hadn't forced Leo out of his accountant's gig and into what he was truly meant to do. I guess that's one of the silver linings under the dark clouds of that difficult time in our nation. Leo, set up shop in Fullerton, California repairing radios and it wasn't long before musicians started hounding him to make PA systems for their dances. Fender Amps were born, and naturally, Leo obliged his customers by improvising something to plug into them and Fender Guitars were born. The list of rock stars we know who play Fenders is too lengthy to list here, but it's a good list--Google it. Clapton for starters and Hendrix, too. Quite a few Strats submitted to Jimi's torture inflicted by flames and teeth. So, Happy Birthday Leo Fender. The other most important guy in Rock n Roll next to Les Paul. Enjoy his homey little documentary.