Here’s a truly fascinating full-page Fender ad from summer 1991, which I almost flicked straight past when looking through an old mag for other info today. At first glance, I thought: “Yep, Squier Hank Marvin Strat. Been there, done that.”… But a few pages further on I was struck by the realisation that the Squier Hank Marvin didn’t arrive until the end of 1991. There was no such guitar in the summer of that year, when the magazine was printed.
Sure enough, paging back to the ad, it became clear that the guitar pictured was not a Japanese-made Squier Hank Marvin signature model in Fiesta Red, but in fact a Korean-made standard Squier Strat, in Torino Red. Obviously the relationship between Marvin and Squier had been forged, but the signature model was not yet available, so briefly, Hank was instead promoting the regular red Squier Strat...
Squier fans may be interested to know that after a couple of minutes studying the ad with a magnifying glass, I’ve been able to find out a little more about the Strat depicted. It’s made by Samick, and has an S1xxxxxx serial number, corresponding with the year 1991. It also has Samick’s characteristic volume and tone pots with the dots below the numbers. Fender-branded vibrato bridge saddles, single-ply scratchplate fixed with 11 screws, one-piece maple neck, customary ceramic pickups, two metal ‘butterfly’ string trees, and the obligatory ‘Made in Korea’ on the headstock. The scratchplate does not properly align with the outline of the body moving up towards the lower horn. I’ve seen worse on Samick Squiers, but I’ve also seen better. Not a great choice by Fender for a high profile ad! Incidentally, you can find a full retrospective on the early Korean Squier Strats in my The Truth About... Early Korean Squier Strats article.
The advert includes Hank Marvin’s signature, which was subsequently of course added to the headstocks of the MIJ Squiers now firmly in the pipeline. For clarity, no MIJ Squiers were available when this ad was printed – hence the depiction of a Korean model.
The main text is as follows: “Hank wishes he could have started on a Squier Strat”… “SQUIER by Fender is the most popular affordable guitar range in the world, offering high quality contemporary instruments at prices to suit a beginner’s budget. Try a Squier and see for yourself why Hank wishes he could have started on one.”
So, a brief but intriguing insight into the first Squier Hank Marvin Strat ads of 1991. So ahead of the game, that the guitar they really wanted to promote, hadn’t even been built!
And here's the UK ad for the actual Squier Hank Marvin signature Strat, as published in 1993.
There’s more on the real Squier Hank Marvin Strat in my Squier Silver Series article, and my Fender Squier vintage hybrid aritcle.