Paul Hewson and David Evans are going to help the Fender brand find its way in the digital age, reports Michael J. de la Merced in The New York Times (5/29/14). If that doesn’t quite have the ring of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre joining Apple, it’s probably because relatively few people know that Paul is U2’s Bono and David is The Edge. Both men are slated to join Fender’s board to help build the Fender brand, design new products, and tighten connections with its customers.
"I believe that guitars are here to stay and, far from digital technology being their death knell, I think it throws up some new ways to power creativity and give people greater access to the huge potential of the electric guitar," The Edge says, adding: "It was the combination of time-honored traditions of guitar production with some very fresh ideas about what the company can do going into the future that hooked me."
Speculation is that Fender could also get into "headphones and other sound systems," as well as "digital education … The company already makes a guitar that can plug into a computer; a natural next step could be online guitar education." The U2 alliance does not mean The Edge will give up his "array of Gibson and Gretsch guitars and Vox amps," however he says,"I’m excited about what new instruments and hardware I can help create with Fender."