Fender Custom Shop not making friends with Nels Cline

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KoolThing

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For people who know Nels and enjoy the music he makes, that guitar is iconic. Like beyond iconic. People who are fans of his would recognize the Watt guitar (as it's known) in a split second. By copying the wear patterns of his Jazzmaster, they immediately tied it to him. You don't have to mention his name to know exactly which guitar they were creating. It is entirely their design and they have every right to do with it as they wish, but they're riding on his reputation to sell an overpriced relic and giving him zero credit. It's no different than them putting out a strat that looks identical to the SRV one or a tele that's obviously Micawber without giving credit. It's legal, but kinda scuzzy.
This is the best take I've seen in this thread. And furthermore, Nels didn't use the word "sue" or invoked the legality of the whole thing. He expressed minor annoyance at both their trading on his reputation and the pricing of "relic'd" CS models. AFAIK the only stuff he has actually endorsed have been pedals, guitars , and hardware he happens to use or things he has actually had a hand in designing (the Goo distortion, for example). No shilling, though I won't hate on people who do--musicians have to eat, too.
 

74vibrolux

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It's an interesting case, fer sure...

Did he own that guitar from day 1? Did he buy it with someone elses wear on it?
He bought it from Mike Watt years ago. It's a pretty well documented guitar. You can see pictures of it in its earlier days on Watt's page. http://www.hootpage.com/hoot_gallery-nels.html - It was in really good shape when Nels started playing it. He really put it through the ringer. Dude is a monster when he plays.
 

74vibrolux

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It’s beautiful to behold, isn’t it?
No ****. The first time I saw him play I nearly lost my mind. I don't think anyone since Sonic Youth had opened my ideas to what's possible. Just like SY, he changed how I saw the guitar. It was like watching someone successfully cut down a tree with a hammer and make it look effortless. The Nels Cline 4 album he just put out is the one I've been hoping he'd do for years. I just wish they'd hit Kansas City.
 

bucketsofcake

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The wonderful thing about the internet is that when you don't know who or what something is, you can simply type the name of that who or what into a search engine to become quickly informed. It's a great place to learn and discover things you might not have previously known about the world.


Note that beautiful rosewood Henss Jazzmaster at 2:50 that is a Fender knockoff down to the font employed on the headstock. Nels always seems like a cool, down-to-earth guy, but this is just silly.
 

Kurt L

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No ****. The first time I saw him play I nearly lost my mind. I don't think anyone since Sonic Youth had opened my ideas to what's possible. Just like SY, he changed how I saw the guitar. It was like watching someone successfully cut down a tree with a hammer and make it look effortless. The Nels Cline 4 album he just put out is the one I've been hoping he'd do for years. I just wish they'd hit Kansas City.
I got to talk to him for a minute after he played a duo gig with Julian Lage in Austin. I think I caught him off guard when he asked if I enjoyed the show.

I said “I don’t know. I was pretty lost all night!” Which was the absolute truth!

I find it interesting how differently he plays in that format, or with The Nels Cline Singers, than he does with Wilco. And I love the way he interacts with Tweedy and Sansone; they get some very interesting things happening.
 

Johnny Alien

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Note that beautiful rosewood Henss Jazzmaster at 2:50 that is a Fender knockoff down to the font employed on the headstock. Nels always seems like a cool, down-to-earth guy, but this is just silly.
Exactly! And it's a Nash telecaster that he is holding in that screenshot as well. He has a bunch of replica Fenders yet he is complaining about Fender having a custom shop with similar wear.
 

rawkguitarist

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No offense, but who's Nels Cline?
Maybe its been answered well by others - no time to read the entire thread. But he is a little under the radar because he's a bit "avant-garde", builds parts from lots of loops and other creative devises. But something to note is that he is a brilliant, legit jazz player. He's a significant player even if he's not as well known beyond jazz and Wilco fans.
 

MrGuitarhack

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Well it does look a lot like his black Jazzmaster but Fender isn't trying to sell it using any references to Nels Cline. I don't see anything about the guitar (other than the wear pattern and color) that makes it unique to Nels guitar. Black's a pretty common color and the spot where the finish wear is, is usually where the finish wears down.

I don't see a problem here.

 
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