History Of G&L Guitars

History Of G&L Guitars

Leo Fender passed away on a rainy day in March of 1991, an event which shook the Music World: The father of modern music was gone. It was on that very day that Leo had completed his last prototype instrument, after which he declared to his wife Phyllis that he had given all he can to the musicians of the world.

Before his passing, he wanted to be sure that the legacy of G&L would continue to shine even brighter in the future. He knew that he must look after the people of G&L, his family, so that they would remain secure and free to continue building the finest guitars and basses in the world.His wife Phyllis shared his dream, and she chose BBE Sound, under the leadership of Chairman John C. McLaren, to take over the management of G&L and to expand and develop it in the way Leo would have wanted. Leo had begun discussions several years before with John, who Leo respected greatly. Leo was confident that John could make Leo's dreams for G&L's future become reality and felt he could entrust John to continue his work with G&L, in which he took such great pride. John shares Leo's vision of G&L as a maker of superb hand crafted instruments.The arrangements were made that the ownership would be transferred to John's company, BBE Sound. George Fullerton remains as a permanent consultant, and Leo's wife Phyllis remains as Honorary Chairman of G&L - reminders to the world that the spirit and integrity of Leo Fender will continue on in every instrument made at G&L.Today, John C. McLaren, the Chairman of BBE Sound, continues to manage G&L, while his son John Jr. is Plant Manager of the G&L Factory. John Jr. always had a deep respect for Leo and visited him regularly at G&L during the 1980s while working at Fender Musical Instruments, back when Fender was located on nearby Valencia Avenue. John's other son, David, personally oversees marketing for G&L, and he too is dedicated to preserving the memory and rich history of Leo Fender.

Today the G&L factory continues production as Leo would have wanted. His private workshop, the epicenter of his creativity, remains untouched as it was on his last day and has been visited by music people from around the world. While the people of G&L, his people, continue to build the instruments with love, dedication and great skill. In preserving the uniqueness of G&L and respecting the vision of its founder, John C. McLaren said, "G&L will always be willing to make changes. Leo Fender was a symbol of change and evolution for the benefit of musicians. But for any change that is considered, we must first ask ourselves, 'Would Leo have wanted it this way?' If yes, then we do it. If not, then we will not. We always want to feel that Leo Fender would be proud of today's G&L."

Every U.S. handmade G&L is also set up on a PLEK machine!