The world of yowhatsshakin

 
 

The year after Leo Fender’s first wife Ester died of cancer was an eventful year. Not only did he found G&L Musical Products Inc. with George Fullerton and G&L Music Sales Inc. with Dale Hyatt on the business side, he also remarried with the lovely Phyllis Thomas. Phyllis, a widower herself, was an acquaintance of the Fullertons and had been introduced to Leo by them. They spent the last 11 years of his life together: traveling, enjoying the presence of her grand-children, doing all the things you expect people at a ripe old age to do. Since George had been bought out by Leo in 1985, it was Phyllis who after Leo’s death made sure that G&L would end up in good hands and sold it to the BBE Sound Group lead by John McLaren. She was made Honorary Chairperson, provided the signature for a Certificate of Authenticity that has been included with every G&L instrument ever since, and has acted as guardian to Leo’s legacy. The Legacy was the first new model introduced by BBE in 1992. Not unexpectedly, in July 2007 Phyllis was honored by BBE/G&L with the announcement of a Custom Creations Department Limited Edition Legacy named after her: the Phyllis Model better known as ‘Blondie’, the nickname bestowed on her by Leo himself. This guitar has a custom blended Blondie Blonde finish that matches Mrs. Fender’s hair color as close as possible. All other appointments, i.e. pickguard, rear cavity cover, and tuner pegs on the Schaller machines, are pearl giving this instrument a majestic look. The 2-piece swamp ash body is joined with a hard-rock maple neck with 12” fingerboard, Dunlop Medium Jumbo 6100 frets, and 1⅝” nut. Like all Legacies, it has a Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato (DFV), 3 CLF-100 Alnico Vintage pickups (as found post-1994 after having used Seymour Duncan SSL Vintage pups prior), 5-way switch, volume control, and the so-called PTB tone system: G&L unique way of providing independent bass roll-off and treble roll-off. As a sonic bonus, the treble tone-control is push-pull allowing you select the outer 2 pickups in positions 1 and 5 and all three in position 2 and 4. The package is completed by a silver tolex hard shell case with black end caps and crushed velvet interior, Silver COA, 14’ G&L Custom Creations Spectraflex Platinum braided cord, polish cloth, and Factory Tour DVD. Parts of the proceeds of the sale of these instruments are donated to the Smile Train: a charity providing free cleft surgery to afflicted children in poor countries around the world. More information can be found on the CCD section of the G&L website:

http://www.glguitars.com/instruments/USA/customcreations/Phyllis/index.asp.

 

G&L Phyllis Model: ‘Blondie’

The story behind this guitar

Year:                  2008

Serial number:    CLF48946 (#53 of 100)

Neck date:         none, marked ‘Phyllis Fender’

Body date:         JAN 15 2008

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

Another example of how patience sometimes pays off. In October 2009, during something that can be called a scavenge hunt, Buffalo Brothers scored a slew of great G&L instruments from a rental company in the Pacific Northwest. Amongst the guitars were two Blondies (#48 and #60). Participants in the Guitars by Leo (GbL) forum were given the opportunity to buy any of the acquired instruments at a reduced price. I called and then got cold feet and passed up on the deal. Next one was listed on eBay for months and I was waiting for the price to drop below my trigger point. No dice! The guitar just disappeared never to be seen again. And then one just comes to your attention in a place I wouldn’t necessarily look: at Mass Street Music in Lawrence, KS, at a much lower price and with most case candy. Although the DVD is missing, a request form is included! In one of his GbL posts, Dave McLaren asserted that a Blondie sings like no other after he played his over lunch. And if you interpret “singing” as being expressive at low volume, he is absolutely right! It’s all you might expect from a modern Strat. Although one of the lowest output guitars I have, you can get your vintage tone, but where others stop, this guitar still is capable to go to “11” tone wise. Stunning!