Fender Custom Shop head Mike Lewis has died, Fender confirms

Fender Custom Shop head Mike Lewis has died, Fender confirms

Fender has confirmed reports over the weekend that Mike Lewis, longtime head of Fender Custom Shop has passed away.
News of Lewis’s passing was shared by Fender in a post to social media. The brand wrote on Instagram: “The entire Fender Family mourns the passing of Mike Lewis. Mike was a legend. His knowledge of guitar was expansive, and his contribution over the years was immeasurable.
“Beyond his expertise, Mike was a truly remarkable person and was beloved by all who knew him. We will miss him deeply and send our condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.”

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Lewis first joined Fender’s sales department in 1991, his most recent title was vice president of product development at the Fender Custom Shop. Before eventually joining the Custom Shop, he would lead various major projects for the brand, including the DeVille and Vibro-King amps, the Pure Vintage line and the Lone Star Strat, Fender’s first humbucker-loaded production Stratocaster. As well as his contributions to the brand’s product lines, he also spearheaded the development of Fender’s first online storefront.
When Fender and Gretsch joined forces, Mike Lewis oversaw the entire product lineup getting an overhaul. In a statement about his time at the company, Fender notes that his commitment to returning the Gretsch lineup to its original glory was such that he took an original ‘59 6120 guitar to get both an MRI and a CAT scan to ensure the new designs had authentic internal construction.
Justin Norvell, EVP of product for Fender, paid tribute to Lewis in a press statement, writing: “Mike Lewis didn’t merely oversee product lines; he possessed the rare ability to reimagine them, stripping them down to their essence and rebuilding them anew. His strong vision, cultivated over decades as a player, shaped his approach. From touring with Chuck Berry and opening for the Rolling Stones to serving as a studio session musician in 1970s NYC and owning a music store in Virginia, Mike’s wealth of experience, perspective, and wisdom became the foundation he brought to Fender.
“He didn’t just work here; he lived and embodied the spirit of the brand. Though I initially worked for him for many years, there came a point where the dynamic shifted, and he started working for me. And yes, throughout our time he consistently remained a mentor, a wellspring of wisdom, and, above all, a treasured friend until the end.”
The post Fender Custom Shop head Mike Lewis has died, Fender confirms appeared first on Guitar.com | All Things Guitar.

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Source: www.guitar-bass.net