Fender Musical Instruments Corp

Babe Simoni began working for the Fender Guitar Company in 1953. He was a teenager when George Fullerton hired him to work on the factory floor. Babe’s father had worked in the plant just the year before but had suffered a stroke and left the company. Babe worked on nearly every style of guitar the...
Johnny Smith! What can you say about meeting not only your personal hero but also a hero to thousands in our own industry! Johnny Smith was in person what he has been on recordings, warm, engaging and inspirational. Over the years Johnny has been linked to many innovative musical products, most...
Dan Smith was inducted into Fender’s Hall of Fame for good reason. Dan designed the re-launching of the famous guitar company after it was sold by CBS. Dan’s vision was to bring the product back to the early concepts that originally made the Fender name famous. His success led to a long career with...
Stephen Stern was born a wood craftsman. In fact, growing up his two passions became building furniture and playing the guitar. When he had an opportunity to put both together in the early 1980s, he jumped at the chance and went to work for Charvel Guitars. After returning to cabinet making he saw...
John Suhr began formulating ideas of designing and modifying the electric guitar while working as a repairman at Rudy's Guitar Shop in New York City.  After sharpening his skills as a master builder in Fender's Custom Shop in California, John established JS Technologies Inc. to produce his own line...
Gary Sunda began building guitar amplifiers under the name Sunda in the 1960s before he was hired by Don Randall to create a new line of amplifiers, Randall Amps. Gary began designing products for the Randall Company in 1970 and stayed until just after Don sold the company in 1990. Gary continues...
Larry Taylor joined the rock/blues band Canned Heat in 1966 just before the band’s string of hit recordings. The gig came after nearly 6 years as a recording artist playing both guitar and bass. As a member of Canned Heat, Larry played Woodstock and Monterey, performing the band’s hits including “...
Larry Thomas is the current CEO of Fender Musical Instrument Company.  He also served as CEO of Guitar Center during the company’s early growth period. He worked closely with music educational programs throughout his career and in fact created the Guitar Center Foundation and the Fender Music...
Brad Townsend always had a love for music and remembers growing up with music all around him. He opened a retail music store/lesson studio and also had an extensive career at Fender Musical Instruments for 18 years. While at Fender Brad dealt with domestic and international sales as well as...
Donnie Wade "borrowed" his parent’s car when he was 14 years old to drive to a bar so he could hear Freddie King play the guitar! That experience and an earlier encounter with Merle Travis marked the beginning of his passion for the guitar! That passion took him from his own retail shop in Texas to...

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