George Fullerton Dies At 86
July 8, 2009 at 4:27 AM (PT)
GEORGE FULLERTON, a longtime associate of LEO FENDER who played a crucial role in the electric-guitar innovator's extraordinary success through his broad-based skills as a musician, artist and technician, has died. He was 86, reports THE L.A. TIMES. FULLERTON died SATURDAY of congestive heart failure at St. Jude Medical Center in FULLERTON, said his son GEOFF.
While FENDER tinkered away, coming up with improvements in guitar design that led to the creation of his revolutionary Telecaster and Stratocaster electric guitars, FULLERTON was charged with making those innovations practical for mass production in their ORANGE COUNTY factory that opened in the late 1940s. Nearly 1,000 people were working there when FENDER sold it to CBS in 1965.
"LEO's domain was the lab: innovation, getting ideas together on the conceptual level. GEORGE's domain was the shop," said RICHARD SMITH, curator of the LEO FENDER Gallery at the FULLERTON MUSEUM CENTER and author of "FENDER: The Sound Heard Round the World." FULLERTON "made the machine that threaded the guitar necks. He came up with the neck shaper and all these unique tools they used. If LEO had problems, [FULLERTON] needed to solve them."