Jimi Hendrix, George Fullerton to be inducted into Fender Hall of Fame

(Dave Molter | Posted 2010-07-23)

Jimi Hendrix, George Fullerton to be inducted into Fender Hall of Fame

Fender guitars will induct Jimi Hendrix and founding Fender employee George Fullerton into the Fender Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 13, 2010, at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Ariz.

The Fender Hall of Fame was created in 2007 as an annual celebration of Fender founders, artists, leaders, innovators and other historically significant figures, and as an institution in which their contributions to the company’s legacy are permanently commemorated. Special guests at the 2010 induction ceremony will include Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer, Geoff Fullerton, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Chris Layton.

Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC, is the central figure in preserving and protecting the ongoing legacy of her legendary stepbrother, Jimi Hendrix. As the head of the Hendrix estate for nearly a decade, she will be present at the induction ceremony that afternoon to accept the honor on behalf of Jimi Hendrix and the Hendrix family.

Over a career spanning nearly half a century, world-famous recording producer and engineer Eddie Kramer is well known as the man who recorded Jimi Hendrix; playing an integral role in recording every seminal Hendrix album from 1967 debut Are You Experienced to 1971’s The Cry of Love. Kramer is one of the most renowned producer/engineers in rock history; his work has also included famous albums for the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Peter Frampton and many other artists.

Fender’s own Geoff Fullerton is the son of George Fullerton, one of Leo Fender’s best friends, first employees and key right-hand men during Fender’s original 1940s-1960s golden age. A generation later, Geoff Fullerton has lent his own talents as a builder to the Fender Custom Shop in Corona, Calif.; he remains there today and will be on hand at the induction ceremony to accept the honor on behalf of his father and family.

The fourth annual Fender Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will also feature musical performance by noted blues guitarist/singer/songwriter Kenny Wayne Shepherd, ably backed by premier electric blues drummer Chris Layton, formerly of Double Trouble and also known for his work with a variety of artists including Storyville, Arc Angels, Doyle Bramhall II and many others.

Both inductees loom large in Fender history in very different ways; one a legendary artist and the other a key behind-the-scenes figure in the company’s early years.

James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix (1942-1970) is universally hailed as the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. In the annals of rock history—and especially in Fender history—he towers above all others as an artist whose life and work were as phenomenal as the era that he helped to define and personify.

Innovative, enigmatic and astoundingly talented, Hendrix pioneered an explosive new role for the electric guitar in the latter 1960s over the course of a meteoric career that was as musically adventurous as it was all too brief.

With bands the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys, he recorded groundbreaking hit singles and albums, including Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold as Love (1967), Electric Ladyland (1968) and Band of Gypsys (1970), all of which are as acclaimed and influential today as when they were first released. A mesmerizing performer, Hendrix also turned in unforgettable concert moments, including his literally fiery performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and his immortal appearance at the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair.

With his Stratocaster® guitar slung upside down in order to play left-handed and his artful and inventive use of distortion, feedback and other effects, Jimi Hendrix bequeathed to the world an artistic legacy so powerful that he has transcended mere stardom to become a worldwide cultural phenomenon that endures to this day.

George William Fullerton (1923-2009) played a pivotal role during Fender’s original 1940s-1960s golden age. In the mid-1940s, as a talented artist and working musician with a keen interest in electronics, Fullerton became friends with Leo Fender. The two men eventually became business associates after Leo personally enlisted George to sign on with the fledgling guitar and amplifier company. With his artistic sense and natural ability to translate ideas into practical processes and machinery on the shop floor, Fullerton contributed to the creation of several of the most important musical instruments of the 20th century, including the Telecaster®, Stratocaster, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars.

Fullerton reported to work at Fender on Feb. 2, 1948, after performing several years of side work for Leo. He ran the small shop and supervised the crew during those first formative years, bringing a congenial, family-like atmosphere to the feisty young company. He became vice president in charge of production in April 1959, and from that early era through the 1960s, he remained both well liked by everyone at Fender and steadfastly loyal to Leo, with whom he remained a lifelong friend and business partner long after both men retired from Fender in 1970.

from a press release.

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