I have to admit that as a long-time Sonic Youth fan I’m kind of bummed that I was missing in action when Fender finally got around to officially announcing the release of their new Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo Jazzmasters.
Rumors had been going around for well over a year, and to be honest, I really enjoy it when I manage to break big news here at EGR. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
The good news though is that both of these instruments is due in stores soon — by the end of the month as far as I can gather — and just in time for the Holiday season (hint, hint.)
The fact that anyone from Sonic Youth (a wonderfully noisy and chaotic band if there ever was one,) has been rewarded with a “Signature” type instrument from Fender is just one more sign of the times. Truth is truly stranger than fiction. Anyway, I can’t think of two musical innovators who deserve it more.
While the two instruments look similar, they are fairly massively altered to match the preferences of Moore and Ranaldo — among other things Moore’s Jazzmaster will feature a pair of Seymour Duncan Antiquity II for Jazzmaster pickups and an Adjusto-Matic bridge, while Ranaldo’s “Jazzblaster” sports a Mustang-style bridge and a set of
re-voiced Wide Range Humbuckers.
Both instruments have also had all extraneous controls removed (they feature just a 3-way pickup switch and a single Master volume speed knob for pickup control,) and have been finished in satin lacquer with a black painted headstock and black anodized aluminum pickguard to boot. The guitars are expected to sell for just under $1500.