My guitar collection - G&L


The ASAT Classic is the last production model where George Fullerton and Leo Fender, the original G&L, were both actively involved in for its design. To some extend, Leo took “revenge” on Dale Hyatt for introducing the Broadcaster/ASAT model. He had never been really comfortable with the success of the ASAT, mainly because it was not his idea. In the meantime, Dale was still constantly being asked by dealers and players alike to deliver more traditional looking and sounding instruments. It cannot be denied that with its introduction at the July 1990 Summer NAMM in Chicago, G&L delivered with the ASAT Classic: a Tele-style guitar with vintage styled, hand-wound ASAT Classic Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups adding the twang missing from the ordinary ASAT. Like the Telecaster, it has a string through body design with the bridge pickup mounted in the modified gold plated ASAT Classic 6-saddle bridge, which allows for improved intonation, volume control, tone control, and 3-position pickup selector. One of the guitars built for the NAMM show (S/N G026896) was even more special. Dale had given it a Black finish with a (rare) gold Leo Fender signature on the upper bass bout and all gold hardware, including the very rare 3rd generation Leo Fender Vibrato (LFV) requiring a special modification to the bridge. It never was on display, however, since collector Paul Lombardo was able to convince Dale to sell it to him before the show. But that guitar inspired George and only a few months later he had an identical one made for himself with a soft maple body, hard-rock maple #2 (i.e. 7½” radius, 1⅝” nut width) Bi-Cut neck with rosewood fingerboard. His guitar, finished 10/25/1990, is featured in both of his books: “Guitar Legends, The evolution of the guitar from Fender to G&L”, in the color section on p. 78, and Guitars from George & Leo: How Leo Fender and I Built G&L Guitars, on p. 116 in black and white. There is some controversy whether this guitar was shown at Leo’s funeral. George has the honor going to his other all-gold hardware ASAT Classic (S/N G029273, found in the same color section on p. 76), but that guitar was finished only shortly before Leo’s passing. With all relevant people no longer among us, it will be hard to verify which guitar it exactly was. Anyway, whatever the case may be, a “George”-ious guitar is it! Although the ASAT Classic is still one of G&L’s most popular models, it is no longer available in these specs. The LFV and the Signature decal have long since been discontinued while gold hardware can only be ordered on special request at market price. Interestingly enough, one of the first reviews on the ASAT Classic contains a picture of the LFV. It was written by Richard J. Grula for the November 1990 issue of Guitar World Magazine and is included below.


ASAT Classic Signature w/gold Leo Fender vibrato

The story behind this guitar


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From the moment I started collecting, this guitar was on the list. After George passed away July 4th, 2009, many of the guitars in his estate ended up at Buffalo Brothers in Carlsbad, CA. Tim Page always made sure impeccable pictures were taken of any guitars and the ones for George’s very special ASAT Classic were no exception. In my naiveté, and given its price tag at the time, I thought this would once be the last ASAT I would buy to finish my initial list of 20 or so. That list became considerably longer when I started to understand the variety within the ASAT model a lot better. But the guitar disappeared after Tim and Bob sold the store. Then in the summer of 2015 it showed up on Reverb. John Nelson at Vintage Gear America was a willing negotiator and we settled on only a fraction of the 2009 price. This guitar sounds amazing with a wonderful whammy to boot. Not your typical model for dive bombing. You can if you want to, but using it moderately suits me better. Fender historian Greg Gagliano asked me to check whether this guitar had a 6.8kΩ resistor on the tone pot but is just has the standard pre-BBE ASAT Classic wiring harness without such resistor, and hence all the snarl and spank you would expect from a Classic.

The story behind this guitar


G027826 (from the George Fullerton collection)

SEP 26 1990

APR 15 1990

D’Addario EXL120 Nickel Wound Super Light (9-42)