Tag Archive for: John Cruz

Just Arrived, 1956 NOS Strat


Yes. This announcement was waiting in my email. The Fender Custom Shop folks letting me know that a new ’56 NOS Strat Master Built by John Cruz had just arrived in Toronto. Just in time for my birthday.

Let’s look at this guitar.


Stunning. Just stunning. Shoreline gold with a Tobacco burst finish. An incredible figured neck. Gold hardware.

Cosmos Music has it for only $12,500.


Oh well. It was the wrong year anyway. I need a 1958, not a 1956.

Fender Custom Shop Zombie Stratocaster


My son is a big fan of the Walking Dead. And a big fan of zombies generally. So this post is for him.

At the 2015 NAMM, the Fender Custom Shop highlighted some of their more unique instruments:


The second guitar from the left is a bit hard to make out so perhaps a closer view is in order:


Ah yes. A Zombie Stratocaster. Handbuilt by John Cruz. He is the individual pictured just to the right of the guitar.

John Cruz started working at Fender in 1987 and went over to the custom shop in 1993. He has been a master builder since 2003. I’ve played a few of his guitars and they are awesome.

This is what John had to say about the Fender Custom Shop Zombie Stratocaster:

“It”™s my tribute to The Walking Dead series, which I”™m a big fan of,” said Cruz. “Even though it”™s not really the characters, it”™s a tribute to that genre. I wanted to show a different side of me, that I could do some artistic type of stuff, as well. And something that caters to different musical forms.”

Joaquin Lopez did the painting and Ron Thorn did the inlays. In this video, John talks about the instrument: