The Smiths, one of the most influential bands of the 1980s, were propelled to great heights by the sonic innovation of guitarist Johnny Marr. He reinvented what the role of the guitar in pop music could be, and guitarists today are still very much in his debt. At NAMM 2012 Fender busted out the killer Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar which was designed over the last four years in conjunction with Johnny. It has custom Bare Knuckle pickups, tweaked switching, Mustang saddles, and a host of other little touches that Johnny has come up with. We love it.
From Fender’s Press Release:
Fender is very proud to introduce the Johnny Marr signature Jaguar guitar, which puts the inventive ringing sounds and highly distinctive design mods of one of the UK’s greatest modern-era guitarists into a truly unique variation on a classic Fender guitar model.
Marr is best known, of course, as the strikingly dynamic and influential anti-hero guitarist-arranger-all-around-musical-wunderkind behind the Manchester quartet The Smiths, which virtually redefined and ruled UK pop throughout the 1980s.
A master of melody, layering and texture, Marr has always brought his own instantly identifiable ringing, jangling genius to the proceedings, as he has done in post-Smiths stints with The The, Electronic, The Pretenders and Johnny Marr And The Healers, and right up to the present with Modest Mouse, The Cribs and innumerable guest appearances.
The Johnny Marr signature Jaguar is a fantastically non-standard version of the model that is as distinctive as the sounds Marr wrings from it, with a wealth of highly specialized features including:
- Custom-wound Bare Knuckle Johnny Marr single-coil neck and bridge pickups.
- Custom-shaped maple neck based on Marr’s 1965 Jaguar, with vintage-style truss rod, lacquer finish and Marr’s signature on the front of the headstock.
- Four-position blade-style pickup switch mounted to the lower-horn chrome plate (bridge, bridge and neck in parallel, neck, bridge and neck in series).
- Two upper-horn slide switches (universal bright and pickup switch position four bright).
- Jaguar bridge with Mustang saddles, nylon bridge post inserts for improved stability, chrome cover and vintage-style floating tremolo tailpiece.
- “Taller” tremolo arm with arm-sleeve nylon insert to prevent arm swing.
Other premium features include the classic Jaguar 24-inch scale length, lacquer-finished alder body, 7.25-inch radius rosewood fingerboard with 22 vintage-style frets, master volume and tone controls, three-ply pickguard (white-black-white) and chrome hardware.
Accessories include a custom case with blue crushed velvet interior, strap, cable and flatwound strings. Available in Olympic White and Metallic KO (a distinctive orange tint derived from the heavily faded Candy Apple Red finish of one of Marr’s favorite ’60s-era Fender models).
“Making this signature Jaguar has been a four year journey,” said Marr. “I’ve taken all the aspects of the guitar in every direction I could, to improve it without losing the classic features that I liked from the original design. It’s been a labour of love and obsession, and a privilege. I’ve used it for everything I’ve done since I started making it. It’s my perfect guitar.”