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Music Man identity (1970s)

Contributed by Garrison Martin on Sep 23rd, 2018. Artwork published in
circa 1975
.
    The original Music Man amp logo. Something to note is that Music Man amps and guitars were made by two separate factories. Leo Fender-built guitars used Neil Bold for Music Man. Forrest White built amps used Futura Bold.
    Source: https://www.ebay.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    The original Music Man amp logo. Something to note is that Music Man amps and guitars were made by two separate factories. Leo Fender-built guitars used Neil Bold for Music Man. Forrest White built amps used Futura Bold.

    Leo Fender was an inventor and innovator. He was originally known for making lap-steel guitars and amplifiers in the late 1940s, a company with his own namesake. Fender’s introduction of the electric bass (or “Fender bass”) in 1951 set the stage for the explosion of rock ’n’ roll in that decade and onward. From the Telecaster to the Stratocaster to the Jaguar to the Jazzmaster to the Twin Reverb to the Champ to the Bassman, Fender had a recipe for timeless cool. Fender Guitars was sold to CBS (the television and radio network) in 1965, ending what’s regarded as a production golden age (“pre-CBS”).

    Fender’s 10-year non-compete agreement was over as 1975’s Music Man came to fruition. It was a collaboration between a group of players (R&D) and inventors (Leo Fender, Tom Walker, Forrest White and George Fullerton). Fender was in his mid-60s at the time. In the disco-era, Leo Fender and company found unlikely success, lightning striking twice. His most lasting contribution from this time was his re-invention of the electric bass — the Music Man Stingray Bass (that has been in production ever since).

    Even in the first years of its release, the Stingray was used on recordings by Queen, Aerosmith, Chic and went on to become Flea’s preferred instrument for the first decade of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    A more minor success came by way of Music Man’s amplifers (mostly masterminded by former Fender plant manager Forrest White). A version of Leo Fender’s original Stingray design was released in 2010.

    Original Stingray logo from a 1977 model. The M legs show a Prisma-like 4-line variant of Futura, probably PLINC’s Prisma Graphic. “Music Man” is in Neil Bold. The script used for “StingRayBass” might be one of the many casual styles made by Filmotype.
    Source: https://www.talkbass.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Original Stingray logo from a 1977 model. The M legs show a Prisma-like 4-line variant of Futura, probably PLINC’s Prisma Graphic. “Music Man” is in Neil Bold. The script used for “StingRayBass” might be one of the many casual styles made by Filmotype.

    The current owner of Leo Fender’s workshop believes these may have been the original prototype logos for the Stingray. Rumored to be hand-painted by Music Man co-founder George Fullerton.
    Source: https://www.instagram.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    The current owner of Leo Fender’s workshop believes these may have been the original prototype logos for the Stingray. Rumored to be hand-painted by Music Man co-founder George Fullerton.

    Leo Fender at his CLF Research workshop with a Music Man amp in the background and a Music Man guitar on the table.
    Source: https://samesound.ru License: All Rights Reserved.

    Leo Fender at his CLF Research workshop with a Music Man amp in the background and a Music Man guitar on the table.

    Eric Clapton was a famous endorser who only recently sold his 40 year old collection of Music Man amplifiers for charity.
    Source: https://newatlas.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Eric Clapton was a famous endorser who only recently sold his 40 year old collection of Music Man amplifiers for charity.

    Music Man, Inc. HQ located at 1260 S State College Pkwy Anaheim, California.
    Source: http://jodycarver.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Music Man, Inc. HQ located at 1260 S State College Pkwy Anaheim, California.

    Brothers Johnson bassist Louis Johnson was a consultant to Leo Fender and CLF Research from the beginning. His mastery of relatively new playing technique
    Source: https://d310t4ch0h19vs.cloudfront.net License: All Rights Reserved.

    Brothers Johnson bassist Louis Johnson was a consultant to Leo Fender and CLF Research from the beginning. His mastery of relatively new playing technique "slap" made him the player with perfect input.

    A 1977 Music Man ad for the Stingray bass and Music Man amps.
    Source: http://www.vintageguitarandbass.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    A 1977 Music Man ad for the Stingray bass and Music Man amps.

    Typefaces

    • Futura
    • Futura Prisma & Prisma Graphic
    • Neil Bold
    • ITC Souvenir
    • Helvetica
    • unidentified typeface

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    1 Comment on “Music Man identity (1970s)”

    1. Sep 23rd, 2018  6:29 pm

      Leo Fender’s Music Man logo threw me for a really long time. It’s Neil Bold with W’s flipped for M’s, for some reason.

      Ernie Ball, Music Man’s current owner went the easier route with Helvetica on these reissues.

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