We were in hog heaven in the Fender booth at NAMM. It was sensory overload: screens playing everywhere, customized trucks and motorcycles, live bands playing, oh, and killer guitars, many of which are coming directly to The Zoo. So, let’s get started. Below is a pair of “’50s Evil” Custom Shop guitars, both Masterbuilt by Greg Fessler:

Everyone was ooohing and aaaahing over the ’64 Relic Strats and Teles:

Speaking of ’64s, we were blown away by a particular ’64 Esquire Relic Masterbuilt by Jason Smith:

Jason was at the booth and told us that this ’64 has an “Illumatone” prototype Lace Sensor pickup behind the pickguard, making this Esquire pretty stealth. We are big fans of Jason; he has built many of our custom run Fenders in the last year or two. Here he is with the stealth ’64 Esquire, and The Zoo’s Tim Reynolds:

This “Medieval Tele” on display was incredible:

We also really like this Strat with the Fender color chart applied as graphics:

Here’s another cool paint job, on the “Troy Lee Designs Graphic” Strat:

Fender is rolling out a lower-priced series of guitars that still have that beat-up, well-played mojo called the Road Worn series. We got to play them first hand, and gotta say, they were nicer than we expected:

Some cool new signature Strats were on hand, namely the Dave Murray (top, Iron Maiden), and the Richie Blackmore (bottom):

The Music Zoo’s Mark DiDonna is holding a really unique custom Tele; it has a fretless, mirror finish fingerboard:

We had the pleasure of meeting Debbie Shuck, who is the Executive Director of the Fender Center Museum. She’s shown below with Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilder Mark Kendrick. She is in charge of Kids Rock Free, which brings young kids down to their facility in Corona, CA, and provides them free guitar, bass, and drum lessons. It’s an afterschool program and they even get to play in bands together. We like that kind of thing!

Fender legend George Fullerton was in the booth signing autographs:

And out in front of the booth, Mick Mars!

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