Wow. What a cool book. The Fender Archives is my kind of history book. Subtitled “A Scrapbook of Artifacts, Treasures and Inside Information” it's written by former Guitar Player editor Tom Wheeler, but takes a substanttially different approach than some of the other “story of Fender” books. This book follows more along the lines of the Marley: Legend and Lennon: Legend "illustrated life" interactive books. While those books featured reproductions of handwritten lyrics, personal papers, etc., this book focuses on technical drawings, Leo Fender’s correspondences and ephemera, all neatly packaged within envelopes in the book that literally help illustrate the Fender story. And, in the very capable hands of Tom Wheeler, the historical side is well-represented without reading like a dry bio. Instead, you get a time capsule to explore that takes you inside the legendary Fender story.
There’s plenty here for the gear-head, player or collector and the casual fan alike. Beautifully illustrated, designed and printed, this book deserves a place on your shelf right next to a vintage tweed and Broadcaster. Essential, gorgeous and tons of fun, Wheeler has delivered a book that is not to be missed.