A new ‘lick’ of paint: Fender exhibition commemorates the most influential guitarists of a generation

Published on 24 May 2024

A new ‘lick’ of paint: Fender exhibition commemorates the most influential guitarists of a generation


John Frusciante, Alex Turner and John Mayer recognised as most influential guitarists of the last two decades in special Anniversary exhibition from guitarguitar and Fender

Exhibition features series of limited-edition hand-painted Fenders honouring the guitarists that have inspired Brits to pick up and play 

Guitars going on tour across guitarguitar stores in the UK and fans will also have the chance to play on them



Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and John Mayer are three of the names being recognised for their influence on the British guitar scene in a new ‘playable’ exhibition from Fender and the UK’s largest guitar retailer, guitarguitar. 

Marking the retailer’s 20th Anniversary, a series of limited-edition hand-painted Fenders are going on tour across the country, celebrating some of the most influential guitarists of a generation.  

A study of guitar players today revealed the guitarists that inspired them to play over the last two decades. The Top 20 list includes members of iconic bands such as Radiohead, Blink-182 and Foo Fighters, as well as some of today’s most recognised touring strummers, such as Taylor Swift and Simon Neil (Biffy Clyro). 


From 23rd May, fans can visit the ‘guitarguitar Hall of Fame’, a touring exhibition paying homage to five guitarists from that list through a series of hand-painted Fender Stratocasters and get the chance to play them. 

Covered in motifs inspired by each artist's career and music, they’ve been designed for true fans with lyrics and ‘easter egg’ motifs to spot such as John Frusciante’s famous octopus tattoo, a lightning bolt tear for Alex Turner's, and John Mayer’s favourite tattoo.


Geordie superstar Sam Fender, who burst onto the scene in 2017 and guitarist H.E.R (Gabi Wilson), who recently performed at the iconic Superbowl half-time show, have also been recognised in the Fender exhibition. 

Following 20 years of helping aspiring guitarists purchase their first guitar, or seasoned players pick out their dream one, the Anniversary exhibition marks a significant chapter for guitarguitar.

Adam Speck, Marketing Director at guitarguitar said, “Over the last 20 years we’ve welcomed so many guitarists through our doors, whether they are picking up a guitar for the first time, or finally getting their hands on their dream one. We’ve even sold guitars to some of the iconic guitarists who have inspired many more to follow in their footsteps. Creating this playable exhibition with Fender is a thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with us over the last 20 years. And whether it’s Under the Bridge, or Seventeen Going Under, we can’t wait to see our customers show off their skills on these very rare pieces.”

Fans will have the chance to visit and play these guitars across the UK, starting with guitarguitar’s Camden store (24 May), followed by Edinburgh (28 May), Glasgow (4 June), Newcastle (11 June), Birmingham (18 June), Epsom (25 June).



Research commissioned by Censuswide (polling 1000 UK guitar players) and guitarguitar.

The five guitarists honoured in the ‘guitarguitar Hall of Fame’ include:

  • John Fruiscante’s guitar features a chilli pepper, a rose and thorns in a nod to the Blood Sugar Sex Magik album and octopus arms to honour John’s iconic shoulder tattoo.

  • The guitar designed for Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner includes a disco ball, fingers clicking (snap out of it), knee socks and Sheffield’s area code, 0114. 

  • John Mayer’s guitar is for those who know one of the planet’s biggest guitarists, featuring icons around his interests (watch), his tattoos (peach) and nods to his album artwork 

  • Sam Fender’s guitar is an homage to his hometown, with the Angel of the North, a magpie, sausage roll and his favourite football team.

  • A guitar to commemorate H.E.R includes her iconic circular glasses, a Grammy and a Superbowl motif to recognise her incredible appearance in the 2024 half-time show that shot her to fame


Full Top 20 list of the most influential guitarists for UK guitar players over the last two decades include:

  1. John Frusciante (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)

  1. Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys)

  1. John Mayer

  1. Sam Fender

  1. Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead)

  1. Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters)

  1. Ed O’Brien (Radiohead)

  1. Taylor Swift 

  1. Tom Delonge (Blink-182)

  1. Simon Neil (Biffy Clyro)

  1. Jim Root (Slipknot)

  1. Keith Urban

  1. John 5 (Motley Crue)

  1. Brad Paisley

  1. Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of The Stone Age)

  1. Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes)

  1. H.E.R.

  1. Adam Hann (The 1975)

  1. Ed Sheeran

  1. Julien Baker


About guitarguitar

guitarguitar is the UK’s largest guitar retailer. The stores and online offering cater to all musicians – from beginners to main stagers – stocking the best music brands from across the world.

guitarguitar is run by musicians, for musicians and offers an expert level of service across its six shops (Birmingham, Camden, Edinburgh, Epsom, Glasgow, Newcastle). Every team member has a passion for music, has played or continues to play an instrument, and are product fanatics.

Find out more at https://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/ 

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