Tom Wheeler’s The Dream Factory: Fender Custom Shop Now Available

Tom Wheeler’s The Dream Factory: Fender Custom Shop Now Available
Lavishly illustrated volume includes foreword by Billy F Gibbons

Acclaimed guitar historian and author Tom Wheeler once again meticulously and beautifully documents a fascinating facet of the Fender story with his latest work, The Dream Factory: Fender Custom Shop, available this fall. In its 592 pages, Wheeler gives readers an unprecedented close-up look at the inner workings of the Fender Custom Shop and guides them through the history of the facility that produces the best of Fender’s best.

The book starts with the Custom Shop’s humble 1987 origins as a small two-man operation born of the newly reborn Fender corporation, which had just emerged mid-decade from years of decline under CBS. In exacting detail and framed by the accounts of many seminal figures, the book delivers a thoroughly engrossing behind-the-scenes illustration of the Custom Shop’s remarkable quarter-century journey from a small offshoot facility to a major and highly acclaimed creative Fender force known worldwide as “the Dream Factory.”

University of Oregon faculty member Wheeler is certainly no stranger to Fender fans; he’s the author of highly acclaimed volumes The Stratocaster Chronicles: Celebrating 50 Years of the Fender Strat (2004) and The Soul of Tone: Celebrating 60 Years of Fender Amps (2007). His many other books include The Guitar Book and American Guitars: An Illustrated History, and he was a longtime Guitar Player magazine editor in chief.

Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of color photographs of incredibly rare, collectible and limited edition Custom Shop guitars, The Dream Factory is a literary treasure trove of Custom Shop history. It features fascinating interviews with the shop’s founders, many of the first-generation Master Builders and all the current Master Builders, and many of the graphic artists, woodcarvers, jewelers, pinstripers, graffiti artists, pearl-inlay specialists and other specialists who’ve contributed to the creation of Custom Shop instruments.

Wheeler’s new book will undoubtedly serve as an invaluable reference for all who appreciate the playable artistry of the Fender Custom Shop. Perhaps ZZ Top guitarist Billy F Gibbons puts it best in his foreword for The Dream Factory:

“In order to make vintage for tomorrow, you got to make it good today,” he wrote. “The Fender Custom Shop has seen fit to ensure that what reaches your hands is certain to satisfy.”


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