The world of yowhatsshakin


Notwithstanding all the effort and innovation during the first 5 years, nothing at G&L harkened back to that first electric guitar ever produced by Leo which put Fender on the map: the Broadcaster/Nocaster/Telecaster. As told here, through a ploy devised by Dale Hyatt the Broadcaster was born: a guitar with soft maple body with 2 Jumbo Magnetic Field Design (MFD) single-coil pickups, hard-rock maple neck with maple or ebony fingerboard and vintage 7½” radius. It further had a black powder-coated control panel and Locktight (Saddle-Lock) bridge. The “mother” of all ASAT models is something to behold. At Dale’s hinting, this became Leo’s vision of how a Telecaster should be constructed if it were to be (re)invented in the mid-1980s. In “Guitars from George & Leo: How Leo Fender and I Built G&L Guitars”, George Fullerton describes how it had been noticed artists were buying the SC-2 ‘entry level’ model, also with maple bodies and the same pickups, because it sounded like a Telecaster but “bigger and fatter”. And that’s why they marketed the Broadcaster as a “repackaged SC-2”. A list of known Serial Numbers can be found in the Guitars by Leo Registry.


G&L BROADCASTER w/Ebony Fingerboard

The story behind this guitar

Year:                 1985

Serial number:    BC00197

Neck date:         OCT 14 1985

Body date:         10-18-85

Strings:               D’Addario EXL110 Nickel Wound Regular Light (10-46)

‘twas the night before Christmas. No really, it was Christmas Eve 2009 when I was doing another Google search on “G&L Broadcaster”. Most of the hits I’d seen before: year(s) old entries on user groups, eBay, and Also a couple of vintage guitar store listings, but all of these were for already sold instruments or for George Fullerton’s very own Broadcaster at Buffalo Brothers at a reasonable (given its history) but rather hefty price. Then, on the fourth(!) page, there was this easily overlooked entry: “Gruhn Guitar Inventory - December 23, 2009”; the store of the well-known George Gruhn in Nashville, TN no less with a listing for a 1985 model at a very reasonable price! OK, not as low as the original pricing when the guitar was introduced (see picture below) but still very reasonable given the going rate. I had to wait until after the holidays but here she is, my first Broadcaster. At the very tail-end of the crazy year 2009 in which my collection grew by a stunning seven guitars (or should I say seven stunning guitars?), this was the last in that sequence. Dale, George, and Leo were all entirely correct in their assessment. MFD pickups in a maple Tele-style body? A fantastic combination! The neck pickup is incredibly sweet. Beautiful jazz or “mother” tones are right there at your fingertips. The bridge pup has bark and bite. And when you select both you get hum-bucking action for free and another set of wonderful tones. Smart! The tapers for all the pots are wonderful. It is a breeze to create beautiful volume swells with this thing. What a magical number, what a magical year, what a fantastic closer! Thanks to all of you gentlemen, wherever you are, for this wonderful creation ...