Monday, August 10, 2015

Music Monday ~ Leo Fender, inventor of some legendary guitars.

Leo Fender was born this day in 1909. The 10 minute video below tells most of what a non-expert in musical technicalities (like me) would need to know about him.

In this short video Brian May explains a few of the nuances of sound available from a Fender guitar:

As for the astrological:
Leo Fender was born on 10 August 1909 in Anaheim, California. Time of birth unknown - chart set for 12 noon.

Stand-outs: the middle degrees. Venus (planet of the arts) conjunct Jupiter (excess, expansion) in trine to Uranus (innovation)...all at between 15 and 17 degrees. Sun is at 17 Leo, Neptune at 17 Cancer, Moon could possibly be within that 15-17 range in Gemini too. If Moon were to be in a middle degree, a nice Yod would form between the Sun/Moon sextile both quincunx Uranus, drawing innovative Uranus into a more comfortable situation with the core self.

Mid-sign degrees might, for some unknown reason, have special relevance in natal charts of musicians, composers (and perhaps even innovators of musical instruments?) Some research by Peter Morrell on DEGREE INFLUENCES IN MUSICIANS & COMPOSERS is detailed at his website.

Musicians and composers need a sense of vibration [16 fixed signs] a sense of rhythm [Jupiter or Mars in earth?] and also a sense of subtle perception [Venus Neptune contacts]. They also need artistic sense [Venus] and the sense of symmetry [Libra] and architecture [Mercury Saturn] for composition. Many also deal with lyrics and thus a Gemini, Virgo, Mercury component also comes in.

Mark Knopfler :


mike said...

Fender was an inventor of applied electronics and music per se was the tangential benefactor. Four of his planets are ruled by his positively aspected Mercury in Leo endowing him with sharp, detail-oriented, mental functioning. His Mercury-ruled planets may have expressed as cool and critical in the emotional department, but probably not neurotic or overly nervous, considering the placements and aspects. The planet of innovation, invention, and "new" electronics is opposed to Neptune, but that opposition has a benefic Venus-Jupiter aspect, providing a positive outlet. Saturn in Aries is 6* past T-squaring this opposition, which would add a touch of tension, but Saturn is trine Mercury providing stability and focus to his mental pursuits. His natal chart presents a highly functional individual.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks for the astrology input, looking at this from Fender's electronics-related skill-set.

The fact that he chose to come up with inventions related to music, rather than many other options available, could possibly give the idea of middle degrees being significant to music/musicians some relevance here also. Maybe. :-)

mike (again) said...

There doesn't seem to be much personal information about Fender available on the net, but I did find these tidbits:

"A friendly, modest and unassuming man (his "coffee mug" was a styrofoam cup with the word 'Leo' inked on it), he had the lifelong admiration and devotion of his employees, many of whom have remarked that the best working years of their lives were spent under Leo Fender. An example of frugal living, Fender was once asked why he brought his lunch (egg salad sandwiches) to work every day instead of buying lunch from the local lunch truck. Fender replied, 'With the money I save eating these sandwiches, I can buy a handful of resistors.'"

"The lab methods Fender developed early on would serve him throughout his career; he depended on himself rather than technology, using his ear, for example, rather than relying on a spectrum analyzer. He also kept no comprehensive written record of his experiments, trusting in his memory most of the time.

... Fender's design abilities extended even to the equipment used to manufacture his company's products. Don Randall, president of Fender sales for years, told Wheeler, "Leo designed all the equipment, and he was a genius for figuring out the manufacturing process." Combined with his ability to develop better musical instruments, Fender's manufacturing savvy helped make Fender Electric Instruments one of the most prosperous manufacturers in the industry."

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I didn't see much about him either, other than relating his skills and guitars. Thanks for these links. He has a kindly face, not surprised to see that he was well-thought of by employees. :-)

Amazing that he didn't keep written records of his experimental work! Must be a bit like "playing (an instrument - in this case his brain) by ear" I guess.

mike (again) said...

On ABC World News this evening (Tuesday, August 11th)'ll have to endure a Trivago or Advil commercial prior to the video:

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Quinky-dinkie! :-) Thanks. We mentioned his birthday, they mentioned "made in America" - both relevant (for us anyway).