Going Back To The Same Old Place . . .

As a designer I am always looking to stretch my capabilities beyond my comfort zone. This year I have tried to expand my creative thinking beyond merely designing guitars as stand-alone instruments. This approach is exemplified in “Ground Zero (The Blues Alley)” and “Viva Las Vegas”: two concepts where the guitars take equal billing with their cultural influences. Having enjoyed working on those two projects I asked myself the question, where do I go from here?

In order to push myself even further, and in step with my current approach to design, I wanted to know whether I could create something that was a little more Mainstream. I approached the project as if I had been commissioned by one of the Mainstream giants to design a guitar that would not look out of place in one of their catalogues.

Where to begin? I have always loved Fender’s approach to design: effortless, elegant and functional. One of my favourite guitars that echo these trademarks is the Mustang, a sometimes forgotten classic from 1959. There is something about the shape that gives the guitar its appeal and thanks to Kurt Cobain; the Mustang has subsequently become a late twentieth century design icon. However, the Mustang has much more to offer than simply her association with Mr Cobain. For me, the Mustang represents Urban Blues Americana more than any other guitar. She is not as famous as the Stratocaster or as popular as the Telecaster but what the Mustang has in compensation is an abundance of street credibility. Her natural surroundings are located in the streets, bars, clubs and basements of urban industrialisation, none more so, than those located in and around Chicago. Having decided that the Mustang is the ideal blueprint, what could I add to the design that enhances her urban swagger? The answer lies in “Sweet Home Chicago”.

I have kept the design of the guitar as original as possible. However, in order to enhance her personality, thereby, giving the guitar her own identity, I chose our “Breuer” pickups rather than the familiar standard single coils. This decision was always at the forefront of my thinking because I needed to know whether they would work, aesthetically, culturally and, more importantly, in keeping with Fender’s design heritage. I am more than happy with the outcome! As always, many thanks for your support. SR

“Sweet Home Chicago”

Inspired By The Fender Mustang And Urban Blues Americana.

(Bob G. Harrison\Raw Guitar Co. “Breuer” Single Coil Pickups)