Fender is paying tribute to one of rock’s greatest and most important musicians, the iconic Joe Strummer, with a pair of new signature guitars bearing the late Clash legend’s name. The Joe Strummer Campfire and the Joe Strummer Esquire are both available starting today (March 30th).
“Joe’s Fender guitars were a huge part of his life and, of course, his music,” said Strummer’s widow, Lucinda Tait. “Now feels the right time to collaborate with Fender on these commemorative guitars, as we take a moment to reflect on everything Joe and his music achieved. Joe would be immensely proud of them, and excited to hear what they can do in the hands of music lovers around the world.”
The Joe Strummer Campfire is named after the campfire performances that Strummer spearheaded at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival over the years, and that are now continued annually in the Strummerville section of the fest. The acoustic-electric guitar features a solid spruce top with mahogany back and sides, a tilt back Fender headstock, and a custom sound hole label with a Campfire logo and star inlays.
The Joe Strummer Esquire is a “faithful reincarnation” of the primary electric guitar that the singer-guitarist used during the London Calling and Combat Rock eras of The Clash. It was meticulously crafted by Fender’s Custom Shop Master Builder Jason Smith, and features “a ‘Clash-era’ look and feel — including its iconic black racing stripe, ‘Bourbon Street’ sticker and custom relic finish.” Among the specs are a two-piece offset seam alder body and a Josephina hand-wound ‘55/’56 bridge pickup wired up to a 3-way switch and ’59 Esquire wiring. The limited-edition guitar has a run of only 70 units and comes with a custom pink anvil case with a “Strummer” stencil and leopard print lining.
Justin Norvell, Executive Vice President at Fender, stated, “Joe Strummer changed music forever, including for myself personally in my own musical journey. He is inexorably linked to Fender, so we wanted to honor that with not only one, but two brand new and unique Artist Signature Series guitars. The Joe Strummer Campfire acoustic is the perfect offering for songwriters, Strummer fans and acoustic players at all levels looking for a versatile instrument with unique specs, while the Joe Strummer Esquire serves as the ultimate tribute to a player and a guitar which shaped the sounds of thousands following in his footsteps.”
Along with the two guitars, Fender has released a line of Joe Strummer accessories, including a signature cable, a signature vintage strap, a signature “Know Your Rights” strap, and a signature “Know Your Rights” pick tin.
The Joe Strummer Campfire is priced at $499 and is available through authorized retailers via Reverb. The limited-edition Joe Strummer Esquire retails for $15,000, and can be purchased through authorized dealers.
The guitars follow the recent release of Assembly, a 16-song collection of Joe Strummer’s solo works. The punk legend passed away suddenly at the age of 50 in December 2002 due to a congenital heart defect. The Clash were inducted into the Rock & Roll of Fame just a few months later in March 2003.
See a demo of the Joe Strummer Campfire below, followed by close-up images of both guitars.