FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEGENDARY BRANDS FENDER AND JOSE CUERVO TRADICIONAL CREATE THE WORLD’S FIRST AGAVE STRATOCASTER
HOLLYWOOD, California. (April 27, 2017) — This latest collaboration fuses an innovative use of tequila’s thorny ingredient with Fender’s most iconic guitar model that musicians have been playing for more than seven decades.
Since 1998, the Jose Cuervo Foundation has been working with artisans to explore agave’s many uses beyond tequila, most recently working with Ford Motor Company on sustainable agave car parts, and big wave surfer Gary Linden to create the first 100% agave surfboard. Steeped in tradition, both Fender and Jose Cuervo Tradicional share a dedication to quality craftsmanship and a passion for innovation. Designed and constructed by Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Paul Waller as Fender Custom Shop celebrates its 30th anniversary, the Cuervo x Fender Agave Stratocaster is a unique art guitar that, in the true innovative spirit of the Custom Shop, tests the limits of guitar craftsmanship.
Inspired by Mexico’s picturesque landscape, culture and native agave plant, the Cuervo x Fender Agave Stratocaster is about as 100% agave as it can get, with all traditional wood elements replaced by agave plant-based material. While the instrument features a pure agave body, 21-fret neck and fingerboard, the two-piece ‘56 Stratocaster remains true to tradition with all-genuine Fender hardware, a custom-engraved neck plate with a Jose Cuervo inscription, and hand-wound Fat ‘50s neck, RWRP middle and bridge pickups. In the end, the Cuervo x Fender Agave Stratocaster took more than 30 work hours to design and meticulously build, with an additional five days used for agave stalk harvesting and guitar sealing.
“It shows we can make guitars out of nearly anything, and they still embody the distinctive sound of a Strat® or a Tele®,” said Paul Waller, veteran Fender Custom Shop Master Builder known for building guitars for rock royalty and successfully creating the first functioning cardboard Stratocaster in 2015. “The Agave Stratocaster has a specific sound compared to an alder and maple guitar, a unique tone that is going to start a conversation, and that’s the purpose – it’s exactly what the Fender Custom Shop has been doing for the past 30 years.”
“Jose Cuervo Tradicional is proud to be working with Fender to further develop our uses for agave innovation,” said Sonia Espinola, director of heritage for the Jose Cuervo Foundation and Master Tequilera. “As the world’s no. 1-selling tequila, we could never have imagined the hundreds of agave plants we were cultivating would eventually multiply to millions. This collaboration, which brings to life the connection between Jose Cuervo and rock & roll, celebrates two great companies working together to create something iconic.”
The creative process began in Summer 2016, when Waller traveled to Tequila, Mexico – steeping himself in agave while he toured Jose Cuervo’s distillery, La Rojeña. At his side was notable surfboard shaper Gary Linden, who has worked with agave for more than 30 years and created the first 100% agave surfboard in partnership with Jose Cuervo in 2015. Linden worked alongside Waller to harvest the agave materials and complete the sealing of the guitar. Using the agave plant material helped to reduce environmental impact, as the stalk harvesting process happens at the end of the plant’s life and does not disturb regrowth of the species.
Jose Cuervo’s dedication to agave sustainability and knowledge about the plant helped Waller to rethink his approach to the shaping, sanding and preparation process. One of the biggest challenges Waller faced was working with the extremely soft agave plant material. For this reason, Paul used 10-gauge strings with the agave neck and fretboard. Featuring a beautiful, rugged aesthetic, as well as a variety of color and texture throughout, the guitar is lightweight – an estimated weight of 6.5 pounds – weighing significantly less than guitars made of traditional hardwoods. The sound of the instrument is musical with the “quackiness” of a Stratocaster pickup, making it a tonal fit for surf music. While musical performance was not the primary goal, groundwork for future industry innovation has been laid.
For more information on the Cuervo x Fender Agave Stratocaster, please visit www.fendercustomshop.com or JoseCuervo.com. For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender and @JoseCuervoTequila.
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About the Cuervo X Fender Agave Stratocaster:
Paul Waller’s ‘56 Stratocaster features a two-piece pure agave body, neck and fingerboard, however, the instrument remains true to tradition with all-genuine chrome Fender hardware, switch tip and pickup covers, as well as a custom-engraved neck plate with the Jose Cuervo inscription. In response to the softer agave properties, Waller paired 10-gauge strings with the 21-fret agave neck and fretboard. Other features include: hand-wound Fat ‘50s neck, RWRP middle and bridge pickups; an agave paper backplate; American Vintage Stratocaster bridge; and upgraded vintage Stratocaster fret wire all packaged up in a Fender Custom Shop tweed Stratocaster case with a special pouch for a shot glass and bottle of tequila. The Cuervo x Fender Agave Stratocaster is a proud creation of the Fender Custom Shop in partnership with Jose Cuervo and will not be available for purchase at retail.
About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation:
Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends.
About Jose Cuervo®:
Jose Cuervo is the largest producer of tequila throughout Mexico and around the world. The Jose Cuervo portfolio of tequilas includes Jose Cuervo Especial® Gold, the world's best-selling Tequila, Jose Cuervo Tradicional®, Jose Cuervo® Reserva de la Familia®, Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita®, Authentic Jose Cuervo Margaritas® and Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix®. For more information, visit www.cuervo.com.
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