stupid Fender "Road Worn" gimmick

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Can't put into words how much this fucking annoys me or how totally wrong wrong wrong it is...
http://www.fender.com/roadworn/
I hear that Ford are going to make a "road worn" Transit that's brand new, but has been "aged" so that it looks like a beat up van with 200,000 miles on the clock...

snoball, Saturday, 10 January 2009 11:45 (ten years ago) Permalink

I have a 'relic'd' Gibson Les Paul, they actually did a nice subtle job of making it look like a '59 Standard. I got a huge deal on it but would not go out of my way for something like it.

redmond, Saturday, 10 January 2009 11:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

I can kind of see the appeal, if you're gigging a lot, of buying an instrument that already looks beat up so you don't have to worry about scratching it up or anything, but io sure a fuck wouldn't pay a premium for such a thing, in fact, I'd want it to be cheaper.

Pashmina, Saturday, 10 January 2009 12:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

What really rankles with me is the whole "get the mojo of a worn guitar" ad-speak. And yes, they do use the word "mojo". Like years of playing an instrument can be substituted by someone attacking a new guitar with a belt sander for five minutes. And some of the wear patterns are really WTF - I've never seen an old Tele with the varnish worn down in a patch on the front of the upper bout.

snoball, Saturday, 10 January 2009 12:32 (ten years ago) Permalink

I kind of see this gimmick as being for collector types who want their guitars to look like they've been played for 50 years, but actually hardly ever play them. xpost

redmond, Saturday, 10 January 2009 12:32 (ten years ago) Permalink

I understand that Fender have to make money where they can - global downturn and competition from companies making cheap guitars - and that relics/worn stuff like this can make them a lot of money. And I also understand that I'm not the target audience for this stuff. But it's like Fender have moved from making instruments to hawking fashion accessories.

snoball, Saturday, 10 January 2009 12:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

(because I don't think that collectors are going to buy these - they'll buy genuine old instruments - it's more for people who want to look "cool")

snoball, Saturday, 10 January 2009 12:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'm disappointed that the region option on that website doesn't mean that they use different materials to 'road wear' the guitars depending on what country you've supposedly been touring in.

chord simple (j.o.n.a), Saturday, 10 January 2009 12:52 (ten years ago) Permalink

It's a good point about the wear patterns, actually. People I know who own/use instruments from new who've done a lot of gigging, the main wear is buckle rash on the back.

Pashmina, Saturday, 10 January 2009 12:53 (ten years ago) Permalink

(xpost)

US - Budweiser
UK - real ale
Spain - sherry
(...)
Slovakia - potato vodka

I'd like to imagine that at the Fender factory, there's a room full of people pouring different beverages over guitars. Then after that, someone throws all these guitars down some stairs/out the back of a moving van/etc.

snoball, Saturday, 10 January 2009 12:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

I mean, this doesn't happen with keyboards.

"Here's my brand new road worn Mellotron! At the factory they simulated the abuse it gets from rattling around inside a truck without a road case and being stored in a drafty barn between tours! It doesn't work at all, but it looks so cool! You can almost smell The Beatles!"

"This is a relic DX7, it's been aged to simulate years of drunken idiots spilling cider over it! Half of the front panel buttons just don't work! The top two keys are completely mangled to imitate the all times it would have been leaning against a wall in a studio and then someone accidentally kicked it! It won't remember any patches you put into it!"

snoball, Saturday, 10 January 2009 13:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

(because I don't think that collectors are going to buy these - they'll buy genuine old instruments - it's more for people who want to look "cool")

otm. collectors won't go near these.

J0hn D., Saturday, 10 January 2009 15:19 (ten years ago) Permalink

All points fair points, but considering that for a lot of 'casual' players the way a guitar looks is almost as important as the way a guitar sounds, is it so awful that a company would market 'vintage'-looking guitars? Sounds pretty natural a sales idea, actually.

Gorgeous Preppy (G00blar), Saturday, 10 January 2009 15:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

except that even casual players have self-respect

congratulations (n/a), Saturday, 10 January 2009 15:33 (ten years ago) Permalink

(xpost) Well, I acknowledge that Fender have to make money, and that means exploring every option for doing so, including stuff like this. Nearly £1000 for the "1950's" P-Bass, when a modern Standard Precision goes for £500-600. But the component comparison between the "Road Worn" models and their genuine vintage equivalents is pretty tenuous.

snoball, Saturday, 10 January 2009 15:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

yeah maybe. and I haven't seen the prices of these things. but I'm not feeling like looking down on some teenager who can't hear the difference between the sound of a bunch of shitty electric guitars and so chooses the one he thinks looks cool.

xpost ok whoa that's pricy I take it all back

Gorgeous Preppy (G00blar), Saturday, 10 January 2009 15:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

it's probably spelled 'pricey'?

anyway, yeah, marketed at a premium and as if it's got the sound of an original 50's guitar, sure I can see being annoyed at this.

Gorgeous Preppy (G00blar), Saturday, 10 January 2009 15:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

"designed using 1950s specs augmented by Tex-Mex™ pickups and 6105 frets"

er, yeah, really 1950's...

snoball, Saturday, 10 January 2009 15:44 (ten years ago) Permalink

words can not describe how much i hate the tex-mex pickups

R. L. Stinebeck (John Justen), Saturday, 10 January 2009 15:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

the price on these makes this a terrible idea, but (spoiler alert) it will not seem quite so shocking when viewed in light of what is going to happen to fender prices on feb. first. you have been warned.

SECRET MODERATOR, Saturday, 10 January 2009 15:58 (ten years ago) Permalink

I did a few short articles on blog about this about a year ago after Guitar Center kept sending me catalogs for these types of things. At the time, the relic market -- it was said -- was about 12 percent of Fender's sales. That's a significant portion, perhaps because the asking price for most of them is fairly high, and one might guess, the profit margin.

See here and here

Gorge, Saturday, 10 January 2009 16:41 (ten years ago) Permalink

because I don't think that collectors are going to buy these - they'll buy genuine old instruments - it's more for people who want to look "cool")

There is a pretty big cottage industry of people making 'new' reliced instruments. I've got a couple of friends that have been making a living doing this kind of thing for the past half dozen years. Fender figures they can hook up a CC to do some of the work and mass produce these kind of items I suppose. Gibson and Fender have been making for quite a few years out of their custom lines.

It all depends on how well it is done, I've seen some that are quite nice looking instruments. One of the people I know that relics and tricks out guitars bought an old Les Paul body to refinish and it turned out to be a 52! He restored it up and then kind of aged it back and it looks and plays really well. The same guy has built some nice stuff for himself, he also built a Strat from scratch that has a huge neck that is pretty cool.

I don't think I could take a new multi-thousand dollar Gibson R5 and send it to someone to beat it up to look like an old one, but there are plenty of fools that will. Hotrodding a parts guitar to make it something cool, I don't know...that wouldn't be too bad, if it looks natural and well done.

earlnash, Sunday, 11 January 2009 01:15 (ten years ago) Permalink

Exactly as dumb as pre-stressed jeans or whatever.

Can you really blame Fender for giving idiots what they're prepared to pay big coin for?

Then again, my guitar was free, so I'm certainly not the target for this sort of thing...

milling through the grinder, grinding through the mill (S-), Sunday, 11 January 2009 03:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

This road worn thing is a pretty cool technology, I must say. I mean, if you are a guitarist and you are just starting out, how the hell do you convince people that you are a grizzled old blues hand, someone who has "lived" more in one life than the audience has in their pathetic lives combined? It's tough! So I think it's neat that the 00s have brought us technology so that a dude can just lay down a few hundred samolians and get up to "cred speed" so that the audience can truly hear his music instead of fixating on his apparent youth, inexperience, and trust fund.

But what about the musicians who don't play "rashable" instruments? What about the singer whose only instrument is his voice? How does he communicate to the audience that the experiences of his life make Bukowski look like a yuppie? Sure, he can sing his tale of woe, but modern audiences are far too cynical to buy into such fakery and fiction.

Well, this is where I come in. I offer an exclusive service that addresses precisely this problem, a service that I am prepared to offer for an unbelievably low price: For a one-time fee of $5000 (cash only; non-sequential $20s please), I will beat the absolute living shit out of you. My patented method uses razor-sharp implements to create facial (and other areas, as required) lacerations that will heal into ugly, permanent scars, searing skillets to give yr skin that "grizzled" look, and tire irons to create broken bones that will not heal correctly (for "character").

I realize that $5000 is a bit more than you'd spend on a "road worn" guitar, but keep in mind that this is an investment in yr professional future! Book now, because seats are limited and I'll only be in yr city until the cops find out I'm in town.

chuzzuck eddizy (libcrypt), Sunday, 11 January 2009 03:54 (ten years ago) Permalink

Well, this is where I come in. I offer an exclusive service that addresses precisely this problem, a service that I am prepared to offer for an unbelievably low price: For a one-time fee of $5000 (cash only; non-sequential $20s please), I will beat the absolute living shit out of you. My patented method uses razor-sharp implements to create facial (and other areas, as required) lacerations that will heal into ugly, permanent scars, searing skillets to give yr skin that "grizzled" look, and tire irons to create broken bones that will not heal correctly (for "character").

A $50 a day heroin is cheaper and has longer-term effects.

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Sunday, 11 January 2009 06:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

heroin habit I mean

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Sunday, 11 January 2009 06:11 (ten years ago) Permalink

because I don't think that collectors are going to buy these - they'll buy genuine old instruments - it's more for people who want to look "cool")

And even then the collectors are pretty hard core about making sure the correct era parts all match up. Kinda like vintage cars that have all the parts with matching numbers.

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Sunday, 11 January 2009 06:15 (ten years ago) Permalink

This road worn thing is a pretty cool technology, I must say. I mean, if you are a guitarist and you are just starting out, how the hell do you convince people that you are a grizzled old blues hand, someone who has "lived" more in one life than the audience has in their pathetic lives combined? It's tough

Hear, hear, libcrypt! Well said! Hardly anyone can be in Guitar Center when one flawlessly whips out the riff of "Oh Well" in the main room. So you are better off looking like Sommers at 60 (who looks like Mick Ralphs) than anyone else.

I just don't understand why Fender hadsn't gotten to Richie Blackmore.

Gorge, Sunday, 11 January 2009 09:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

btw I have zero desire for these and the "wear" on the tele is just bizarre (looks like maybe it was owned by an LP player who kept trying to switch pups with his pick), but hating on "relic" guitars is as ridiculous as relic guitars. Some people like them. Boo hoo.

And by zero desire I mean that P-Bass is kinda hawt.

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Monday, 12 January 2009 05:58 (ten years ago) Permalink

My first thought is that while I think these are pretty silly, they're not that much more silly in principle than preferring a red guitar to a white one, or wanting one with a WWII-style woman painted on, or camouflage or punk stickers or whatever. Or like liking Bigsbys because you think they look cool/retro. I mean, I go to the trouble of putting tortoiseshell pickguards on my guitars even thought they don't sound any different from the white ones; it's just aesthetics.

On second thought, though, the relic'd guitar suffers from a confusion of ideas. First is the fetishization of wear, the notion that there's something morally or spiritually superior ("mojo") about a scratched guitar vs. a pristine one. But the second idea, which doesn't really go with the first one, is that there is no shame in purchasing this wear rather than "earning" it. The market is NOT a person who truly and deeply believes that a road-worn guitar is morally/spiritually superior, because he would know that his guitar was purchased that way. The market for these is a person who believes it is desirable to look as though his guitar has been battered by service on "the road" (even though he knows it has not been).

All that said, I have no problem with Fender selling guitars to these people given that they appear to exist.

Ye Mad Puffin, Monday, 12 January 2009 15:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

it's probably spelled 'pricey'?

are you sure it's not "pricky"

Edward III, Monday, 12 January 2009 15:15 (ten years ago) Permalink

As always, the marketing language of the big guitar brands is completely vile.

the ref (ed hochuli ha ha) (call all destroyer), Monday, 12 January 2009 15:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

(xxpost) well, the guitar market is pretty complex. There are people who want an instrument that's reliable and a reasonable price. There are kids who want a cheap instrument to learn on (Squier/Epiphone). There are people who want the latest high tech components (Gibson Robot/Dark Fire).
Then there are the posers, who believe that somehow having an expensive guitar that looks good will fool people into believing that the owner can really play or is at least a cool dude, man. Poser guitars break down into a) AAAAAAAAAAAAA+++ quality book match flame tops, b) replicas of famous guitars ("oh wow man! your axe looks just like Jimi's!"), and now c) "road worn" ("man, you must be a great guitarist, you've practiced so much your guitar is really worn!").

snoball, Monday, 12 January 2009 15:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

Pointless but tangentially related anecdote: Once when I was a child, when my mother had just gotten a new violin case. She thought it looked too new, so she asked me to take it out to the driveway and kick it around on the pavement for a while. I don't know whether she just preferred the look of the battered case she'd had for 30 years, or whether she really thought that other violinists would laugh at her - haha n00b, or whatever.

Ye Mad Puffin, Monday, 12 January 2009 17:45 (ten years ago) Permalink

Maybe new violin case = not violinist but gangster with Chicago typewriter?

snoball, Monday, 12 January 2009 17:51 (ten years ago) Permalink

replicas of famous guitars ("oh wow man! your axe looks just like Jimi's!")

Gotta admit, the best fake-aged guitar I've ever seen was a $199-or-so mock-up of James Hetfield's with matching wear -- i.e., a totally sensible way to get your 13-year-old an affordable guitar he will still have a reason to think is super-awesome.

nabisco, Monday, 12 January 2009 20:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'd like to think that playing guitar was super-awesome enough by itself to encourage kids. Although fair play, at that price. It's not like charging $1000 for a guitar that's been gone over with a belt sander. These "Road Worn" models are stupidly expensive in anyone's money.

snoball, Monday, 12 January 2009 23:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

for now, i'm holding my tongue, but suffice it to say that i am increasingly disappointed in fender as a whole and am considering some major changes in the near future at the store that may not have a lot of room for the new face of fender. which bums me out, but i still prefer the idea of buying with my conscience, not "tradition".

SECRET MODERATOR, Monday, 12 January 2009 23:18 (ten years ago) Permalink

I can understand why Fender and other companies are doing this relic/replica/worn thing. Musicians don't have much money to burn at the best of times, and in a downturn the first thing we say is "I can get along with this guitar/amp/whatever a bit longer". Meanwhile, rich people looking for a prop so that they can play at being a rock star tend to keep spending.

snoball, Monday, 12 January 2009 23:24 (ten years ago) Permalink

Pre-stressed road-worn attitude sold separately.

ichard Thompson (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 13 January 2009 02:58 (ten years ago) Permalink

I generally have no problem with the "dudes with a 'tude" marketing schemes of the world (Some Urban Outfitters stuff, Hot Topic, these Fender guitars, post-1998 Pontiacs, AFI, etc). I mean, you've gotta sell a product. It sucks but it's harmless. What makes me sad, though, is knowing that beyond the good people at ILX/ILM, there are thousands, if not millions, of people - the consumers - across America who would love these so they could record their latest Breaking Benjamin cover and upload it onto YouTube. I guess a band sticker or non-brown color on your guitar is kind of the same aethetic, but I don't pay $1000 for it, and they don't necessarily broadcast "road warrior badass dude who's been touring for decades" even though I'm 24.

I also hate that Fender turned "relic" into a verb and took out the "e," as if regular conjugation wasn't cool enough.

throwbookatface (skygreenleopard), Tuesday, 13 January 2009 22:31 (ten years ago) Permalink

I've been trying to find a clip of that episode from the first series of Blackadder where Edmund is made head of the Church of England. But I can't.

Baldrick: Moving on to relics, we've got shrouds, from Turin; er, wine from the wedding at Cana; splinters from the cross (his finger gets a sliver from one of the splinters); er, and, of course, there's stuff made by Jesus in his days in the carpentry shoppe: got pipe racks, coffee tables, coatstands, bookends, crucifixes, a nice cheeseboard, fruit bowls, waterpoof sandals... (picks up a piece of wood that's partly carved) Oh, I haven't finished that one yet.

Percy: But this is disgraceful, My Lord! All of these are obviously fake!

Edmund: Hah, yes!

Percy: But, but how will people be able to tell the difference between these and the real relics?

Edmund: Well, they won't! That's the point!

Percy: Well, you won't be able to fool everyone. Look (he takes a red cloth from his sleeve): I have here a true relic.

Edmund: What is it?

Percy: (unwraps the cloth) It is a bone from the finger of Our Lord. It cost me 31 pieces of silver.

Edmund: Good lord. Is it real?

Percy: It is, My Lord. Baldrick, you stand amazed.

Baldrick: I am -- I thought they only came in boxes of ten. (he opens a box of finger bones)

Percy: What?!

Baldrick: Yeah, yeah -- fingers are really big at the moment. Mind you, for a really quick sale, you can't beat a nose. For instance, the Sacred Appedage Compendium Party Pack: you get Jesus' nose, St. Peter's nose, St. Francis of Assisi's nose, and (picks up a pair of false breasts) er, no -- they're Joan of Arc's.

snoball, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 00:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'd like to think that playing guitar was super-awesome enough by itself to encourage kids.

Well, sure, but I can remember going to a guitar shop as a 14-year-old without much money -- i.e., at an age where you kinda want a guitar that feels cool to you or matches whatever cool-guitar-player dreams you happen to have -- and winding up choosing between a Squier and a totally metal-looking Ibanez cheapie. (I disliked metal, but took the Ibanez anyway, because the Squier felt very Dire Straits or something.) I guess I'm saying that since most guitars in the cheapie price range are going to be kinda middling-quality anyway, it seems like the one area where it'd actually be nice to get gimmicks. (Though I guess that'd kill the joy of the teenage band with the charming jumble of sticker-covered "personalized" instruments, where it's like a fake Hofner bass and a Flying V knock-off guitar and a drummer who clearly got that kit for jazz band.)

I realize the reason this doesn't actually happen is that the whole way you make a cheap-ass entry-level guitar is by mass-producing the same basic thing in huge volume, but a boy can dream, etc.

nabisco, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 19:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

Just based on cursory catalog-browsing, there seem to be as many Guitars of Flair(TM) with Squier and Epiphone on the headstock than Fender and Gibson. There's a Squier thinline Tele; Squiers with the bigass 70s headstocks; Hello Kitty Squiers. You can get an Epiphone LP with your favorite college sports team logo. Not to mention various Evil-looking Schechters. All are $200$300ish instruments, no?

I've probably said this, but the quality of guitars in that price range (while not uber-artisanal) is light-years beyond what their equivalents would have been like in my youth. Yr kids on a budget should stay away from the $100 and sub-$100 First Act things at Target or Best Buy, but today's Epiphones and MexiFenders seem pretty decent to me.

Ye Mad Puffin, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 21:37 (ten years ago) Permalink

for now, i'm holding my tongue, but suffice it to say that i am increasingly disappointed in fender as a whole and am considering some major changes in the near future at the store that may not have a lot of room for the new face of fender. which bums me out, but i still prefer the idea of buying with my conscience, not "tradition".

I am super interested in what you have to say abt Fender (and any other manufacturers actually), dude.

the ref (ed hochuli ha ha) (call all destroyer), Wednesday, 14 January 2009 21:44 (ten years ago) Permalink

I've probably said this, but the quality of guitars in that price range (while not uber-artisanal) is light-years beyond what their equivalents would have been like in my youth. Yr kids on a budget should stay away from the $100 and sub-$100 First Act things at Target or Best Buy, but today's Epiphones and MexiFenders seem pretty decent to me.

― Ye Mad Puffin, Wednesday, January 14, 2009 1:37 PM (12 minutes ago) Bookmark

Not exactly true. Many of the Japanese Squires of the 80's were as good, if not better than your MIM or even USA Fenders, and you can probably still find used E Series Squire Strats for less than a new Mexican Fender or Epihone Les Paul (the latter just look too fucking goofy to me).

Mexican Sleeping Pill, Wednesday, 14 January 2009 22:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

so SeMo, i'ma interpret this as 'stop waffling and buy that cij antigua tele TOMORROW', eh?

(SCOTCH!)

natlawdp, Thursday, 15 January 2009 20:50 (ten years ago) Permalink

How much is said cij tele?

Mexican Sleeping Pill, Saturday, 17 January 2009 21:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

it 'was' $850 bucks, aka too much $ considering i've never payed more than $300 for a guitar
-but that's my all-time favorite guitar & finish combo...

natlawdp, Monday, 26 January 2009 00:37 (ten years ago) Permalink

cij = covered in jizz

Joe Bob 1 Tooth (Hurting 2), Monday, 26 January 2009 01:08 (ten years ago) Permalink

Maybe Fender will make a "road worn" punk special that's covered in audience spit...

snoball, Monday, 26 January 2009 09:05 (ten years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

stupid Fender IPO gimmick

beachville, Thursday, 8 March 2012 15:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

oh sorry dude, i started a thread abt this on ILM before i saw this bump

Thu'um gang (jjjusten), Thursday, 8 March 2012 16:54 (seven years ago) Permalink

nbd

beachville, Thursday, 8 March 2012 17:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

stupid james hetfield car paint gimmick

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdXp1nhmzW0

what's so funny bout deez nuts and understanding (how's life), Saturday, 17 October 2015 20:34 (three years ago) Permalink

cued to the right part of the video:

https://youtu.be/EdXp1nhmzW0?t=2m39s

what's so funny bout deez nuts and understanding (how's life), Saturday, 17 October 2015 20:36 (three years ago) Permalink


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