3The Creator of Fender Guitars Couldn't Play Guitar and Didn't Like Rock Music
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If the name Leo Fender doesn't ring a bell for you, here are some others that might: Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Stevie Ray Vaughn, David Gilmour, Pete Townshend, Guitar-Playing Dude from the Chili Peppers. The one thing these men have in common, besides certain venereal diseases, is that they all favored Leo Fender's guitars.
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Hendrix preferred them roasted.
Fender's influence on rock music is second only to that of cocaine: He didn't invent the electric guitar, but most agree that he perfected it. And since the man lived until 1991, he got to hear all the awesome music his instruments helped create during the golden era of rock.
What He Was Really Like:
Leo Fender not only never learned to play the electric guitar, but wasn't even a fan of rock 'n' roll. When he created his first electric guitars, he made them with country music stars in mind, because that kind of instrument was a staple in country music. The entire reason he went into the business was that he wanted to provide better instruments for the cowboy songs he loved so much.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
"I was almost a harmonica manufacturer, but guitars seemed easier."
Despite the fact that his entire business revolved around manufacturing and constantly improving guitars and amps, Fender never actually got around to learning how to play them and didn't have any interest in doing so. He relied on actual musicians to help him with the design of the guitars, since he probably didn't even know which way to pick them up. When Fender was testing an amp with a guitar, other people in the shop had to go in and tune the instrument when they couldn't take the noise anymore. To Fender, it didn't make much of a difference.
"For the first five years, I actually thought I was making oboes."
All of this makes Fender's accomplishments even more impressive. His guitars aren't preferred by so many famous rockers simply because they look cooler, but because they objectively are -- his biggest achievement, the Fender Stratocaster, was noted for its clean sound and durability. According to songwriter Jonathan Richman, it was "everything your parents hated about rock 'n' roll."
We should all learn something from Leo Fender. So you can't drive? Try to invent a new car! You aren't a licensed doctor? Come up with a new method of open heart surgery! Maybe you'll get arrested ... or maybe your name will become synonymous with the craft. It's happened before.
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This is what a legacy looks like.
2John Wayne Hated Horses, and Clint Eastwood Writes Love Songs
More so than any actual frontier-time outlaw, two Western actors define our image of what a cowboy should be like: John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Enter Wayne's name into Google and 19 out of 22 images will show him wearing a cowboy hat. Meanwhile, all of Eastwood's most iconic film moments involve him pointing a huge gun at someone.
He used to aim for your hat, now he aims for your balls.
Even outside of their movies, both men are known for being extremely tough and extremely Republican. When Eastwood talked to that empty chair last year, we bet Wayne's ghost shed one single, manly ghost tear.
What They Were Really Like:
If you're good at trivia, you already know that Wayne's real name was Marion Morrison, but you can't hold that against him. What is more surprising is that if there was one thing John Wayne hated more than commies, it was horses. Or at least he hated riding them. Wayne had learned to ride when he was young, so by the time he started making cowboy pictures, he was already fed up with it. In the book John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth, Wayne is quoted as saying, "I still hate riding horses. I go by truck everywhere I can."
"Can't we replace this with a truck? And maybe give me a cool baseball cap?"
Another thing Wayne hated was hippies, for ducking the Vietnam draft ... even though he himself got out of going to World War II so he could make more cowboy movies (although the studio may have had more to do with that). If those draft-dodging hippies he disliked so much had film contracts, we're sure Wayne would have understood.
There's a rumor that Eastwood hates horses, too, because he's allergic to them, but it isn't confirmed. You know what he does hate, though? Violence. Despite owing so many cinematic moments to guns, Eastwood has criticized violence in movies and supports gun control in real life. Any day now he'll pull a Spielberg and replace them with walkie-talkies in all his old movies.
"Yes, I do have a permit for this one. Punk."
But enough about the stuff he hates, here's something Eastwood loves: singing and writing romantic songs. Besides recording a "cowboy songs" album early in his career, Eastwood wrote the love theme for his movie The Bridges of Madison County, a hit song for Diana Krall, and even the final theme for Gran Torino. We advise you not to listen to the following song if you plan on being intimidated by the man ever again: