G&L: Guitars by Leo
Leo Fender† passed away on a rainy day in March 1991, an event that shook the music world: the father of modern music was gone. It was on that very day that Leo had completed his last prototype, testament to his passion for improving his instruments.
“G&L Guitars and Basses are the best instruments I have ever made.” – Leo Fender
Why did Leo feel this way? Because he had endowed G&Ls with tone and technology breakthroughs that players still rave about. For example:
- The Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato that’s super-smooth and more stable.
- The Saddle-Lock Bridge that transfers more resonance to the guitar body.
- MFD pickups which are uniquely clear, warm, expressive and wide-range.
- The PTB tone system that offers treble and bass cut for more versatility.
Leo wanted to be sure that G&L would shine even brighter when he was gone. He knew that he must look after his people, so that they would feel free to build on his legacy of quality and innovation. His wife shared this commitment, and she chose Leo’s friend John C. McLaren to assume ownership of G&L and to expand and develop it in a way that would please Leo.
John shared Leo’s view of G&L as a maker of superb instruments, all lovingly crafted for discerning musicians. So do John’s sons, Dave and Johnny McLaren. That’s why now more than ever, G&Ls are widely praised for their superb quality and tone. And thanks to a special blend of traditional craftsmanship and pioneering technology, G&L instruments deliver unsurpassed performance and value.
G&L continues to make instruments with dedication and great skill in Leo’s historic factory on Fender Avenue in Fullerton, California – The Birthplace of the Bolt-On. And inspiration is always close at hand, as Leo’s private workshop, the center of his creative universe, remains as it was on his last day and has been visited by luminaries from throughout the music world.
“When my brother Johnny and I were young, Leo was always kind to us and we learned so much from him. Today, we and our team are committed to preserving the memory and rich legacy of Leo Fender – and this means refining and innovating guitars and basses as Leo would have demanded. As my father said shortly after Leo’s passing, ‘We always want to feel that Leo Fender would be proud of today’s G&L.’” –Dave McLaren, President
THE FENDER AVENUE FACTORY: THE SPIRIT OF LEO
Today the G&L factory continues production as Leo would have wanted. His private workshop, the center of his creativity, remains at the heart of the factory and has been visited by music people from around the world. While the people of G&L continue to build the instruments with love, dedication and great skill.
In preserving the uniqueness of G&L and respecting the vision of its founder, John C. McLaren said, “G&L will always be willing to make changes. Leo Fender was a symbol of change and evolution for the benefit of musicians. But for any change that is considered, we must first ask ourselves, ‘Would Leo have wanted it this way?’ If yes, then we do it. If not, then we will not. We always want to feel that Leo Fender would be proud of today’s G&L.”
Leo Fender History
† The personal name, likeness and signature of Mr. Clarence Leo Fender are property of G&L Musical Instruments / BBE Sound, Inc. and may not be used in any commercial capacity without prior approval. For enquiries regarding the use of the “Leo Fender” name, likeness or signature, please contact us. G&L is not associated with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.