I’ve been wanting to write about this one for a while now, because it’s just such an endearing guitar. It’s not endearing because of where I found it, or because I have a connection to it, or because it’s a rare guitar…… I like this instrument because of what I found on the headstock.Somewhat delicately impressed in the wood is the word “Fender.” Now, you all know this isn’t a Fender but rather a mid 60s Japanese made electric guitar. A lot of kids wanted a brand new Fender back in the day, but most parents didn’t have the means to buy a professional level guitar so it was a Japanese electric instead. But get this, I bought this guitar in Japan. See, even in Japan there were similar dilemmas for the guitar-playing youth. What’s even more interesting to me, is how the closely the “Fender” script is copied on there. That stylized Fender script has become so timeless, I wonder if that really was how Leo wrote his name?During the 1960s, Japan was a great place for affordable labor because the exchange rate was so favorable. But this also meant that people in Japan paid a premium for imported goods. An American Fender electric guitar and amplifier could cost close to $800 in 1965 money, which was the equivalent of a month’s salary for a large company executive! So you see, if your parents in the states thought a Fender guitar was expensive, then imagine what Japanese parents thought!This guitar doesn’t even look like a Fender! But what I like about it this guitar is to think about the kid in Japan who once owned this one. All these old guitars have a story to tell, and I’ve just always liked to imagine what the back story of this one is all about. What I’ve learned after many years of research and visiting/talking with people in other countries is that the lust for guitars and the desire to create music is the same. You know how it goes, first guitars are sometimes like your first love. Nothing else compares, even if the passage of time glosses over the bad parts.With this particular model, there’s a lot of mystery. I don’t know the company who made this guitar, but I’ve owned about six different guitars all made at the same factory. All the guitars feature great sounding pickups and cool pick guards. Also that headstock shape was somewhat of a trademark for the factory. In the states, I’ve seen similar guitars with the brand names Givtone and Shelley.So peeps, let’s all raise our glasses and give a toast to all the kids and families who couldn’t afford a real Fender, but made do with what they had and what they could afford. Anyone who finds contentment with what they have, deserve to be celebrated. And may you all get your real Fender someday, or find your first love again after all these years.