When you have a husband that loves you through all your quirks, craziness, shenanigans, and insane-ness (like I do), you want to do something to show him how much you appreciate him and adore him and love him for being there through all of it.
For me this meant going on a tour of a guitar factory on a recent trip I took.
Now, I am not a guitar aficionado. Not even close! The little I know about guitars is from my guitar lovin’ husband…12 years together total (dating and marriage).
I know what a pick guard looks like, I understand the word fret when associated with guitars, and I can tell you which strings he likes and the guitar picks he loves. Everything else I glean from forums, and sites like Amazon, when I am looking for the perfect gift for him.
My husband has been playing guitars since he was a pre-teen. He lives them; he breathes them; they are his go to when he is stressed.
So, when I was headed to southern CA to see friends, and looking for something to do in their area, he jokingly said, “You could tour the Fender Factory for something to do. They are right there.”
Now, I know he was joking. However, I knew right then I was going to go. That’s how much I love my husband. My marriage isn’t all about me. It is about the two of us, as one, and I knew this would put a smile on his face.
Thus, my friend and I, on a Thursday morning, showed up to get tickets at 9AM for the 10AM tour, visited, looked at guitars used by famous musicians, and took a boat load of pictures!
The visitor center is full of guitars that have been played over the years by famous musicians. Some were part
of a Stratocaster exhibit they were currently displaying; others were there on permanent display. Just a few were Buddy Holly, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Brad Paisley, etc.
In the middle of the visitor center, they had a gold inlay-ed Stratocaster edged with emeralds, rubies, diamonds, and sapphires – for all us women who aren’t into guitars but are into stones…or just “because they can.”
They have a Jam Room where guitar enthusiasts can try out the different Fender models, and they have a custom shop where you can get your dream guitar built.
You can also buy Fender stuff: t-shirts, hats, guitar bags, straps, and miscellaneous Fender guitar parts.
The tour started out with a man telling us to grab a headset and radio. Huh? And protective eye glasses. Hmm…
Turns out, the radio is so we can hear the guide talk. The factory is VERY noisy. And the glasses? Turns out it is dusty, too! I was spritzin’ my Lasiked eyes like crazy with my mini water bottle. They keep the factory set to specific dry/humidity levels to keep the guitars from warping, etc. (And probably other reasons that my husband could tell you, but I have no clue.)
The guide took us through all the areas of the factory, except for painting. The paints have toxic fumes, so they show you a video instead. The people in the video doing the painting are in special gear and wear face masks. Yikes!
What did we see?
We saw where they stamp out pieces for the guitar (the metal pieces – yup, that’s my knowledge showing right there!).
He showed us the machines that cut out the neck and body of the guitars.
We got to see where they sand the pieces down (they have it to a science!).
He took us by the people who tune the guitars so they are ready to be played when they arrive at their destination. I told my husband that all the tuner people looked like guitar players…some from the 80s and some from the 90s. If you can’t picture that, just type in ‘guitar player 80s’ into the internet and see what comes up. Anyway, it was a kick!
Above the tuners is where the guitars hang to dry. Literally, from the ceiling; on hangers (kind of like how they moved the doors in Monster’s Inc.).
We were told that if you wanted to buy a guitar from there, one never played, you could. (Oh, I can see my husband getting himself in trouble if he ever gets to go!)
They showed us the custom shop where they make the higher end, specific request models. I found out that some guitar players will pay an extra $1000 minimum for their guitar just to have it look like it has been played for 20+ years. Really? Go figure. (They have a science for that, too!)
All in all, tour was informative. I felt a bit like I was on a school trip. Thankfully there was no test at the end. *grin*
Yes, I love my husband!