‘The Real Ones’ - A history of G&L


A ‘Signature model’ is usually designed by and carries the “John Hancock” of some famous artist. G&L has/had several too: the discontinued John Jorgenson Signature and Will Ray Signature model, and the Rampage and Superhawk Jerry Cantrell Signature models in production until Jerry moved to Gibson in early-2020.

But what sets G&L apart are its other Signature models honoring people closely involved with the foundation of G&L, now and in the past: Leo Fender, George Fullerton, and Mrs. Phyllis Fender. Between 1988 and 1992, all G&L models could be ordered with a Leo Fender signature decal on the bass upper bout, e.g. the ASAT Signature. Leo actually autographed and dated a single ASAT by hand on 3/23/88 at the request of Vice-President of G&L Sales Dale Hyatt after which he famously claimed he didn’t care what Dale would do with that guitar but it would be the last one he’d ever sign. Nowadays, that guitar is better known as ‘The Rembrandt’. The Signature series reached its crescendo with the Commemorative Edition ASAT Classic and bass released shortly after Leo’s passing. A “cease and desist” order by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), claiming the rights to the “(Leo) Fender” name was part of the 1965 CBS-Fender deal and hence now theirs, caused the final termination of the Signature series. Although, rumor has it there is still an ample supply of unused decals. Between 1995 and 2008, the George Fullerton Signature model was part of G&L’s lineup and hence witnessed the transition from a 3-bolt neck attachment to a 4-bolt. In 2007, BBE Sound, Inc. honored Mrs. Fender with her own Limited Edition: the Phyllis model: ‘Blondie’. To commemorate the first centennial of Leo’s birth in 2009, the C.L.F. Centennial ASAT Limited Edition, carrying Leo’s initials, was released. Unfortunately, no instrument has ever been released honoring the man on the sales side of things and (spiritual) farther of many G&L models: Dale Hyatt. He would certainly have deserved his moment in the sun but with his passing on March 28, 2013, this sadly will never happen. So I will honor him with a separate page on the Dale Hyatt Collection.


“The Family