Fender Jagstangs

The Jagstang was released in 1996 after Fender worked with Kurt Cobain on making a signature model. It was a mix of Fender Jaguar and Mustang and for me it was the first Fender I had seen in YEARS that I liked.


It was the first time in years fender had gone out on a limb and actually made something interesting and "different" even though it was very heavily influenced by their past.

I loved the vintage look and the fact it "didn't look like a Strat". Also that it was Kurts signature guitar didn't hurt either.


I saw Nirvana play Festival Hall in 1992 with Violent Femmes headlining (yeah, Violent Femmes headlined) It was JUST as Teen Spirit was hitting and things got crazy around them a couple of months later.

I'd wanted to see them since Sliver came out. Still my favorite Nirvana song.

It was one of the most disappointing shows of my life. Nirvana (well, Kurt) just really didn't want to be there. They said nothing between songs and Kurt played Teen Spirit and breakneck speed as if to show he didn't care already. I still love the band and I'm glad I got to see them live, even if they weren't on top of their game.


Still, when I first saw the Jagstang in a Frontline magazine at a guitar shop I HAD TO have one.

I still love the lines and size of them. They were a huge influence on my early custom guitar designs. My Vibratone guitar was literally a flipped over Jagstang. The short scale neck is the same as a Mustang/Jag which they're based on and the humbucker added that little bit of, dear I say it ............ grunge.

The Jagstang was only available in sonic blue or fiesta red.


As you can see my Vibratone IS an upside down Jagstang and I made a few of these in light blue with either tortoishell or pearl white scratch plates with and without vibratos. This one here has an aluminium neck but I made a few with timber necks too as well as a "deluxe" version with a German Carve and different scratch plate shape.

 


While I now own a few Jagstangs I played this particular guitar live for a while and then always took it along as my back up whenever we played live.

It has a Seymour Duncan JB humbucker in the bridge and the neck pick up has been disconnected along with the tone pot ......... who needs 'em ? Pickup to volume to jack.

I also blocked the bridge and vibrato as I didn't use them and they just send things out of tune if you bump them or throw it around. I remember using it at the Troubadour one night and James from Violent Soho was disgusted when I threw it and fell on it during a song !


  

It's still one of my favorite shapes and THE BEST looking guitar Fender ever made. Because they went out on  a limb, it sold poorly and was deleted by Fender in 2001 after little interest. It was re-issued briefly from 2003 to 2006 and then deleted again, allegedly for the last time.

This one is the first year production and actually dates to 1995, technically before official production started but the Jagstang was actually manufactured from '95 and then officially released at the 1996 NAMM show. It has the "Fender 50th Anniversary" sticker from '95 and the "Designed by Kurt Cobain" sticker that the first edition had.


 

 

 

 

Aug 26 2013 Written By: Tim Brennan