To honor the sonic legacy of alt/indie rock founding father J Mascis, Fender is supremely psyched to unveil the sparkling-new J Mascis Jazzmaster® guitar, a uniquely modern take on the classic Jazzmaster model designed specifically for one of its most well-known and highly regarded players.
Indeed, Mascis is one of today’s foremost exponents of the Jazzmaster. A surf staple in the ’60s and a punk fave in the ’70s, the guitar had become something of a fringe model by the 1980s. But the Jazzmaster was given new life in the ’80s, ’90s and beyond by Mascis, who took the instrument to a new place with his feedback-drenched, distortion-laden band, right-coast grunge pioneers Dinosaur Jr. Mascis (born Joseph Donald Mascis Jr. in 1965), bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Emmett "Murph" Murphy came blasting out of Amherst, Mass., in the mid-1980s with their debut album Dinosaur; blazing an acclaimed indie rock trail with albums You’re Living All Over Me (1987), Bug (1988), Green Mind (1991), Where You Been (1993), Without a Sound (1994) and Hand It Over (1997).
Mascis assembled a new band, J Mascis and the Fog, in 2000, but when Dinosaur Jr. came back from extinction for a 2005 tour and released a new album, Beyond, in 2007, Fender knew it was high time to recognize one of its rare Jazzmaster artists with a signature model.
“J Mascis is the modern ambassador of the Jazzmaster,” said Justin Norvell, Fender senior marketing manager for Electric Guitars. “He took that instrument into the ionosphere and ripped a sound out of it that people didn’t think was possible from it. He opened it up to a whole new place and a whole new generation. We couldn’t wait to make this guitar.”
The fateful story of how Mascis became a Jazzmaster guy is simply too good to pass up. Mascis, a drummer at the time, had saved a few hundred bucks painting houses and wanted to start writing songs on guitar. He went to—we’re not making this up—Slimy Bob’s Guitar Ripoff Shop in neighboring Connecticut to buy a Stratocaster®, but Slimy Bob didn’t have a Strat® for less than $500 despite advertisements to the contrary. There was, however, a $300 Jazzmaster with a neck beat up to Mascis’ taste. He bought it, and he’s been a Jazzmaster player to this day.
Fender’s new J Mascis Jazzmaster guitar pays affectionately ear-splitting homage to Mascis and that original guitar, giving the instrument a modern makeover for fans who’ve been clamoring for such a model for years.
With its stunning and unusual Purple Sparkle polyester finish, matching headcap and gold anodized pickguard, it features mods requested by Mascis himself—including an Adjusto-Matic™ bridge, reinforced tremolo arm housing and a satin-finished neck. The Dinosaur roar comes from dual vintage reissue pickups and the barrage of controls the Jazzmaster has always been known for—a three-position toggle switch with volume and tone knobs and, for this model, a two-position slide switch with volume and tone controls configured as a “lead tone circuit” (up) and a “rhythm tone circuit” (down).
Available beginning in July 2007, the J Mascis Jazzmaster is literally a sparkling new addition to the Fender lineup, in celebration of the adventurous and continuing sonic contributions of the man who has been the model’s constant champion for nearly 25 years now.