Fender Mourns Senior Master Builder John English, 1950-2007


Doing what he did best: English at work in the Custom Shop.

Fender Mourns Senior Master Builder John English, 1950-2007

Fender and the Fender Custom Shop are deeply saddened by the passing of longtime Senior Master Builder John English, 57, who died June 28.

English was a driving force in the early days of the Custom Shop, helping to define the creative environment that continues in the shop to this day. He will be missed by the entire Fender family as a mentor, leader, artist and friend, and his contributions and techniques will live on in the instruments produced by the world-renowned Fender Custom Shop.

English was born in January 1950 and was raised on ’50s and ’60s rock ‘n’ roll. He joined Fender in 1970, working alongside company pioneers such as as Freddie Tavares and Bill Carson. An original Custom Shop builder, he drew worldwide acclaim for his custom, concept and art guitars, and his collaboration with surf guitar king Dick Dale produced one of the first Fender Custom Shop signature guitar models.

Working with exotic woods, metals, plastics, stone and even bone, English built finely crafted custom guitars for everyone from Eric Clapton to President George Bush. A guitarist, drummer and artist who lived and worked in the United States and Europe, English created distinctive instruments that were informed by his knowledge of music, art and architecture and inspired by natural lines, patterns and colors. He was one of the best of our best, and he will be missed.


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