Sonic Youth guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo have a strong affinity for their Fender Jazzmasters. which they say have defined the Sonic Youth sound for more than two decades. According to Fender's press release, the guitarists have always modified their Jazzmasters by removing any extraneous controls and just leaving a three-way switch and volume knob. Starting today, Moore's signature Jazzmaster and Renaldo's "Jazzblaster" hit the streets.
"In many ways, these two instruments are similar, yet in almost every major way (pickups, bridges, frets) they are totally different," the press release reads. "Both guitars have alder bodies, "C"-shape maple necks with rosewood fingerboards, American Vintage Jazzmaster tremolos and Black anodized aluminum pickguards. Moore's Jazzmaster features Seymour Duncan® Antiquity II for Jazzmaster pickups, an Adjusto-Matic bridge and 21 jumbo frets, and is available in Forest Green Transparent satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish with satin black painted headstock. Ranaldo's guitar features revoiced Wide Range humbucking pickups, Mustang®-style bridge and 21 vintage frets, and is available in Sapphire Blue Transparent satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish with satin black painted headstock."
Each Sonic Youth Jazzmaster comes with a custom sticker sheet and an indie rock zine with photos, set lists, tech info, interviews and tuning charts since it's pretty much impossible to play Sonic Youth tunes without using their odd tunings.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
You can hear Moore and Renaldo playing prototypes of these guitars on Sonic Youth's latest album, The Eternal, and I wouldn't be surprised if they have them in tow at their July 31 show at the Ogden. More info on the axes here.