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Fender: The Inside Story (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 2. August 2000

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Manichaeans believe that the world is divided between good and evil. Guitar owners believe that it's divided between Gibsons and Fenders. Members of the latter camp will want to own this compilation of behind-the-scenes testimony by Leo Fender's right-hand man. Forrest White joined the Fender Electric Instrument Company in 1954, and helped develop such iconic models as the Telecaster, Stratocaster, and Precision Bass. As a writer, White is strictly a nuts-and-bolts man--his main concern is to set the record straight and debunk what he sees as a plague of "Fender fictions." But there's still considerable amusement to be had, whether he's recounting the epithets applied to the fledgling Telecaster ("canoe paddle" and "toilet seat with strings") or quoting Leo Fender on the factory's pre-OSHA working conditions: "Around 1949, we started to put an acetate finish on the lap model Hawaiian steel guitar bodies; and to keep the acetate warm, we kept it near an open gas flame. I guess if anything ever happened, we would have blown that building over the moon. Actually, it was so bad that when the fire inspector came, he just looked in the door and ran off to call us at the nearest pay phone, he was so scared." Sure, sure, as long as it's got that twang.


Even though Leo Fender never learned how to play a guitar, he was the first to make the electric solidbody guitar a commercial success. Despite his low-key style and conservative roots, his radical designs for guitars and amplifiers altered popular music forever. Much has been published about the Fender Electric Instrument Co., but Leo always wanted its story to be told "just the way it happened". Now, Forrest White, his friend and only general manager, offers a behind-the-scenes look at this company. In his down-to-earth style, White traces the company's entire history, from Leo's beginnings as a radio repairman up to the eventual sale of Fender to CBS and beyond. In between are stories about the development of the Telecaster, Precision Bass and Stratocaster, as well as insights into Leo Fender's unique personality. Fender: The Inside Story is packed with more than 100 historic photos and illustrations; instrument diagrams and specifications; and anecdotes about artists such as Merle Travis, Bob Wills, Speedy West, and Tex Ritter. Here is the book that sets the record straight and dispels the myths about the Fender Electric Instrument Co., a company that forever changed the look, sound, and personality of American music.

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Format: Taschenbuch
Forrest White has written a wonderful account of the relationship he had with Leo Fender, as well as bringing to light, the history as he saw it develop while he was employed with Fender.
This book is a delight to read over and over again. The detail to dates and the explanation of how things happened sets you in each time period as he explains what happened through the years. It also allows you to be in the R&D lab with Leo or in the areas that guitars and amps were being dreamed of to Leo's ingenius research and development to being built into reality. Be there as the Broadcaster changes to the Telecaster and the introduction of the Stratocaster and the Precision Bass.
Enjoyable to read and I couldn't put it down. Thanks Forrest!
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9279c2c4) von 5 Sternen 18 Rezensionen
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HASH(0x912b8d08) von 5 Sternen An informative story told from a very personal point of view 21. Mai 2001
Von Jonathan B. Spear - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This book will be an interesting and educational read for anyone who wants to learn more about the life of Leo Fender and his many innovations in the field of electric musical instruments. The author, Forrest White, traces Fender's career from his early years running a radio repair shop, through his initial struggles to launch his guitar and amplifier business, the later years of dramatic growth and success, the CBS takeover, and Leo Fender's subsequent launch of both Music Man and G&L. Leo Fender is revealed as a risktaker, a tireless innovator, and someone whose products were vastly improved by the fact he listened intently to his musician customers for new ideas. White's book is also chocked full of technical details such as the dates when various products were developed and marketed, specifications of various amps and pickups, and so on.
White is in a good position to tell this story because he spent fourteen years as General Manager of the Fender Electrical Instrument Company, and was Leo Fender's associate for many years thereafter. In fact, in many respects, this book is more about White than it is about Fender. White describes, for example, how he used his organizational skills to bring order to the chaos of Fender's early manufacturing operations. After the CBS takeover of Fender, White tells of how he refused to approve the new company's plans to manufacture solid state amplifiers that, in his view, fell far short of quality standards and were not be worthy of the Fender name (he was right).
While White certainly has many impressive accomplishments to his credit but, as he writes this book, he often seems to overreach to repeat numerous compliments that were paid to him during his career, some of which aren't relevant to the Fender story. The book also includes some venomous barbs for industry people who White felt treated him unfairly or whose work he did not respect. At some points in the book, White is painfully petty, such as when he blames Fender's second wife and others for the fact that Fender did not invite to join with George Fullerton in creating the new G&L guitar company. White writes: "Do you suppose it had anything to with Leo's second marriage?.... Was it because of old resentments from the early Fender years, when I was George [Fullerton]'s boss and struggled with him over manufacturing problems?" That kind of stuff detracts from the book.
I was also somewhat disgusted by White's gratuitous speculation about Fender's physical condition shortly before his death: "He acted like he was under very heavy sedation -- absolutely lethargic," writes White. "I sure hoped that he was not taking more medication than was necessary, because Leo was a proud man, and it must have been very embarrassing for him when he could not carry on an intelligible conversation with his friends." Is it possible that White, who claims to have been one of Fender's closest friends, did not know the man was suffering from Parkinson's Disease, which has exactly the type of devastating neurological symptoms he described?
All of that said, I'm glad Forrest White wrote this book and that I've had an opportunity to read it. In terms of the factual narrative, the book is a time capsule of sorts, taking us back to the Southern California of the late 1940s and early `50s, when rock 'n' roll was young, and there was lots of open space, clean air, and a radio repairman like Leo Fender (who loved Hawaiian music) could branch out to making Hawaiian guitars on the side and amplifiers. In those days, the phone number for Fender's Radio Repair shop was #6 -- that's all, just 6. White tells us of the colorful group of colleagues, coworkers and musicians that surrounded Fender during those early days, including Doc Kaufman, Freddy Tavares, George Fullerton, Dale Hyatt, and so on. There are lots of poignant and funny anecdotes that any lover of Fender instruments will appreciate. White's description of the changes at Fender after the CBS takeover is both savage and witty.
Leo Fender is now seen by many as the Henry Ford of modern electric stringed instruments. He literally invented the modern, fretted electric bass guitar. His amplifiers were rugged, practical, and dependable and some, like the '59 Bassman, have attained almost mythical status for their tone and quality, and are prized by collectors and players alike. Fender's Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars were major design breakthroughs for their time and are probably some of the most copied guitars of all time. They are as popular today as they were almost half a century ago when they were first designed. As Fender's fame grew, some people were apparently taking liberties with company's history, so White decided to write this book and comply with Leo Fender's request to "tell it just like it happened." If you can put up with White's occasionally self-serving narrative and petty barbs, that's just what you'll find.
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x90e61354) von 5 Sternen Fantastic Book of the Fender Electric Instrument Company 18. Juni 1998
Von Tom Boyles - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Forrest White has written a wonderful account of the relationship he had with Leo Fender, as well as bringing to light, the history as he saw it develop while he was employed with Fender.
This book is a delight to read over and over again. The detail to dates and the explanation of how things happened sets you in each time period as he explains what happened through the years. It also allows you to be in the R&D lab with Leo or in the areas that guitars and amps were being dreamed of to Leo's ingenius research and development to being built into reality. Be there as the Broadcaster changes to the Telecaster and the introduction of the Stratocaster and the Precision Bass.
Enjoyable to read and I couldn't put it down. Thanks Forrest!
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x90e612c4) von 5 Sternen Folksy facts 27. September 2006
Von THX1138b - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Imagine going into a bar and pulling up next to a talkative old fellow who happens to have worked with Leo Fender for many years. With only a couple beers and a little prodding, the guy goes on and on.
He was there, he knows his stuff. Not a polished conversationalist or an ivy league exec. More Studs Turkel than William Buckley.

That's pretty much what it's like reading this book.

As others have pointed out, Mr. White has axes to grind, horns to toot, old wounds that didn't heal and personal favorites. It's part of the package, undisguised.

Think of it as an oral history. Tidbits and facts scattered among the stories you're not likely to get elsewhere. The book is much stronger in the early, glory days of Fender and a bit hurried after that and downright cautious when dealing with the Music Man and G&L phase. Some aggrivating habbits, such as putting some characters down then going on the defensive about it, gets a litte tiring. But overall a reliable recounting of the early days and a good read - or a conversation over a couple beers (PBR, most likely).
HASH(0x90e6133c) von 5 Sternen Good story, somewhat poorly told 12. November 2015
Von moosie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
While I liked the history I was able to glean from the book, I found the author's puffed up sense of self-importance to be tedious. If you love Fender history, you'll not only like this book a lot, but you'll have hopefully already read several other, well-balanced titles that will provide needed counterpoint.
1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x90e61294) von 5 Sternen The Real Fender Music Story, as it happened 22. September 2006
Von John I. Henker - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I could not put this book down! Maybe it is because I am a Fender guitar and amp player,through and through, in love with the sound since I first heard those big Showman amps tilted back and the twangy Jazzmasters ringing out through a lush tube reberb. Mr. White tells it like it was, with sensitivity and reverence to all involved, especially Leo Fender. Readers can come along on a wondrous journey through Leo's R & D lab and see how each important guitar was created with input from some top studio and performing musicians. And, sadly, readers can learn about the CBS buy out when Leo's health became a concern for him, and why the quality started to wane after 1965. Readers will have to forgive Mr. White's homey writing style, and his best attempts to remember exact conversations. This, I feel, only adds to the honesty of the account. My only disappointment with the book was the absence of details about amplifier development and models. Readers can get a feel for how Leo invented the first tweed amps for the country pros like Merle Travis and the Bob Wills band, but little else is said about development into the black face, then silver face models. Instead of taking off a star, though, I kept a five star rating becuase this is the only book that proves the history of Fender guitars with personal photos taken by Mr. White. I think the reader can come to his/her own conclusions to the perenial question of where the famous Stratocaster headstock came from, and realize that each guitar grew out of feedback from many people--------Leo was the master that put it all together into a functional,durable design. I should know-----I wouldn't trade my '68 Strat for any guitar in the world.
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