The Origin of Fender Custom Shop
Although they needed to continue large-scale production in order to stay viable, the new leadership wanted a division dedicated to honoring the precise attention to detail that initially distinguished their guitars. In 1987, the Fender Custom Shop was founded. Some of their first builds were for sponsored artists. Former Master builder, John Suhr, made a tweed twin for Eric Clapton. They built a tele for Danny Gatton. Before long, many of these signature models were made available to the general public along with other unique interpretations and configurations of their classic designs. The Custom Shop came to function as Fender’s R&D department, constantly experimenting and innovating. For luthiers, it also came to represent the pinnacle of solid-body guitar luthiers. What started as a duo of master builders has expanded into a team of 11, each with thousands of instruments already under their belts. The Custom Shop is like the NASA of Rock & Roll. They employ the brightest minds, keenest eyes, sharpest ears, and most dexterous fingers they can find. As a result, a custom shop fender is one of the most coveted 6-strings in the world.