On September 15, 2011, the editorial staff of Bass Player was pleased to join its friends at Fender for a sneak peak at their new Visitor Center in Corona, California. For more information on the visitor center, now open to the public, go here.
After a bit of food and bev, we got early access to the facility, an 8,600-foot space that’s part museum, part mega-store, part hands-on exhibit, and all cool. The facility is fairly guitar-heavy, but there was lots of love for low-enders in the form of a plaque honoring Motown bassist James Jamerson, plus displays for Jaco Pastorius, Roger Waters, Sting, Matt Freeman, Mike Dirnt, and Mark Hoppus signature models. On the walls, dozens of vibe-y photos hung depicting life behind the scenes at the Fender factory.
The gala opening was a great hang, with presentations from Fender CEO Larry Thomas, former Guitar Player editor (and early Bass Player champion) Tom Wheeler, and Phyllis Fender, widow of Leo Fender. The presentations were followed by inspired live performances by Dave Mason, Raphael Saadiq, and Buddy Guy. We're continuing to upload photos and video from the event on our Flickr feed. Dig in!
If you find yourself in Southern California, consider making the trek to the Inland Empire to take advantage of the free factory tours Fender is offering. Tell ’em Bass Player sent you!