Today, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) and the Fender Custom Shop (FCS) have announced the latest addition to its ‘Stories Collection’ which highlights cult-favourite Fender® instruments that have been modified in the hands of legendary artists. A nod to one of the industry’s most storied session guitarists and to the merits of Landau’s imaginative altered guitar specs, FMIC is honored to present the Stories Collection Michael Landau Coma Stratocaster®guitar and the FCS Limited Edition Michael Landau “Coma” Stratocaster® guitar.
“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with Fender and the Custom Shop to help artists around the world get their hands on a Coma Strat®. I’ve used this guitar for the majority of my life and it’s definitely my most personal guitar.” said Michael Landau. “The sound, the weight and the body contours fit me like a glove – this guitar has always felt like home to me. Not to sound overdramatic, but I should probably be buried with the Coma guitar, we’ve been through a lot together.”
The “Coma” Stratocaster®s story begins at Sol Betnun’s Musical Instruments in 1974, a guitar shop in the heart of Hollywood, where during one of Landau’s many visits, a 1959 Stratocaster® caught the young guitarist’s eye. The original finish had been stripped and the pickups were swapped out. To his surprise, the modded guitar played like a dream. After Landau recognized that there was freedom that a customized instrument afforded him, he wanted to see what would happen if he pushed the modifications even further. The ’80s were the days of rock stars with one name – Bono, Sting, Prince, Flea. Landau admired all of them so during a fun night of debauchery with pals in the late 80s, he decided that he, too, should have a one-word name to joke with his friends about in a fun way. In a flash of inspiration, the name “Coma” magically appeared to him. The name didn’t stick with Michael, personally, but as soon as he wrote it on that red-stained ’59 Strat® with a black sharpie, that guitar became the Coma guitar forever.
Over the years and throughout Landau’s incredible career playing guitar for the likes of Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, and Miles Davis, the “Coma” has seen numerous changes. Pickups were swapped, bridges were replaced. Countless modifications have been made during Landau’s 49 years of Coma ownership. Adorned with a Coma Red finish and equipped with two new custom Fender Noiseless™ and a new custom CuNiFe Wide Range pickup on a tortoiseshell pickguard, the “Coma” Stratocaster is Landaus favorite version of his beloved Stratocaster®.
Although the “Coma” was painstakingly altered to fit Landau’s personal specifications, it can easily be added to any player’s arsenal. The version of “Coma” recreated in the Fender® Stories collection represents the guitar as it exists now. Electronics include custom-designed ML Noiseless Strat® neck-and-middle pickups and a custom Wide Range humbucking pickup in the bridge position. Hardware includes a 6-screw vintage-style Stratocaster® tremolo with a cold-rolled steel block, a custom ML-spec neck, Fender® ClassicGear™ tuning machines and the signature faded Coma red satin lacquer body complete with a Floyd Rose® route. The Michael Landau Coma Stratocaster® wears its rich history on full display, truly representing a vital artist that’s always in transition. Also included is a Coma booklet written by Michael Landau himself, a Coma sticker set, custom strap, Coma pick tin (with limited-edition Michael Landau picks), a roll of PTFE plumbers tape for the tremolo, and a custom Coma-embroidered hardshell case.
“It’s our goal to preserve the narrative and spirit that these heavily modified guitars carry around with them,” said Justin Norvell, Executive Vice President of FMIC Products. “The imperfections and personalizations are what make this Stratocaster® part of guitar history and with this Custom Shop Replica and Fender® Stories Signature model, we’re giving players everywhere the chance to make history of their own.”
From headstock to bridge, the Fender Custom Shop’s made-to-order instrument is a handcrafted replica brimming with customized features. At the heart of the “Coma” are a unique set of pickups designed to Landau’s specifications. Custom wound noiseless 4th generation single coil pickups occupy the neck and middle position and offer that classic Stratocaster® bell tone with none of the hum. In the bridge is a beastly CuNiFe® wide range humbucker that delivers midrange bite and can cut through even the thickest fuzz. The beautifully worn red-stained alder body tells the tale of a well-loved guitar that’s seen countless studios and stages across the world, marked with faded hand-drawn artwork and tattered stickers that not only optimize this instrument’s playability and performance but start a conversation. Finished in a nitrocellulose Coma red stained lacquer and laboriously reliced by the Custom Shop’s Master Builder Todd Krause, this guitar is as eye-catching as it is a dream to play. Landau knows better than anyone that every guitar tells a story and this gorgeous Custom Shop Stratocaster® is a veritable novel.
“Landau poured so much of himself into the Coma,“ said Mike Lewis, Vice President of Product Development and Fender Custom Shop. “And we worked endlessly to capture that same passion with this Custom Shop Model and that meant more than just a one-to-one replica. The craftsmanship and care our team employed in order to create this instrument helped translate the magic that can only come from a beloved and well-used guitar.”
Michael Landau “Coma” Strat celebrates Landau’s iconic career in music. A guitar holds memories that last beyond a lifetime. Introducing the Stories Collection: Michael Laundau “Coma” Strat, a limited edition Fender Custom Shop guitar that celebrates Landau’s iconic career in music.
For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com and www.fendercustomshop.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender and @FenderCustomShop.
Stories Collection: Michael Landau Coma Stratocaster® guitar ($2,799.99 USD, £2,659.00 GBP, €3,049.00 EUR, $5,199.00 AUD, ¥ 352,000 JPY)
Throughout his session work and solo career, Mike’s constant companion, workhorse, canvas and muse has been a 1959 Stratocaster® called “Coma.” Michael found the Coma, already modified, at a local L.A. guitar shop when he was 16. The refinished body and swapped-out pickups gave him all the permission he needed to customize the instrument throughout his career to match his evolving style and meet the needs of round-the-clock studio sessions. The distinctive, half-stripped Coma Red finish and permanent marker “Coma” graphic make it unmistakable, but the guitar has had several different incarnations over the years, hosting a wide variety of pickups, electronics, hardware configurations and bridges.
The version of “Coma” recreated in the Fender® Stories collection represents the guitar as it exists now. Electronics include custom-designed ML Noiseless™ Strat® neck-and-middle pickups and a custom Wide Range humbucking pickup in the bridge position. Hardware includes a 6-screw vintage-style Stratocaster® tremolo with a cold-rolled steel block, a custom ML-spec neck, Fender ClassicGear™ tuning machines and the signature faded red satin lacquer body complete with a Floyd Rose® route. The Michael Landau Coma Stratocaster® wears its rich history on full display, truly representing a vital artist that’s always in transition. Also included are a “Coma” sticker set, custom strap, Coma pick tin (with limited edition Michael Landau picks) and a custom Coma-embroidered hardshell.
Fender Custom Shop Limited Edition Michael Landau “Coma” Stratocaster® guitar ($15,000.00 USD)
For decades, Michael’s go-to guitar was his 1959 Stratocaster® which became affectionately known as “Coma.” This guitar has evolved along with his playing style, morphing from a Floyd Rose® equipped super Strat® with an on-board boost circuit to its current state as an HSS model with custom-voiced Noiseless™ Strat pickups and a custom Wide Range Humbucker. The beautifully worn red-stained alder body tells the tale of a well-loved guitar that’s seen countless studios and stages across the world, marked with faded hand-drawn artwork and tattered stickers.
Additional features include: ’60s Oval “C” Neck Back-Shape; 7.25″ Radius; 21 Narrow Tall (55095) Frets; Vol/Tone/Tone Wiring with 5-Way Switch; ClassicGear™ Tuning Machines; Bone Nut; Single Butterfly String Tree; Deluxe Hardshell Case; “Coma” Strap; Certificate of Authenticity, “the Story of Coma” booklet written by Michael himself.
The Michael Landau “Coma” Stratocaster is the latest installment in our Stories Collection, highlighting cult-favorite Fender instruments that have been modified in the hands of legendary artists.
ABOUT MICHAEL LANDAU:
Guitarist and composer Michael Landau was born and raised in Los Angeles. He received a Grammy in 2018 as a member of the Steve Gadd Band, and as a prolific studio guitarist he has appeared on more than 700 albums since the 1980’s. Session highlights include: Pink Floyd, Miles Davis, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Tim McGraw and Rod Stewart. He has shared the stage in band projects with Robben Ford, Jimmy Herring, Wayne Krantz, Kirk Fletcher and Steve Gadd, as well as touring for many years with James Taylor and Joni Mitchell in the 1980’s. Landau also has many releases under his name, the latest being the critically acclaimed ‘Liquid Quartet Live’ on Mascot Records. His music flows seamlessly from beautiful ballads with improvisation, to heavy rock ‘n’ roll with vocals.
ABOUT FENDER CUSTOM SHOP™:
Since 1987, the Fender Custom Shop and its esteemed builders have astounded players and collectors worldwide with marvels of creativity, ingenuity and artistry. From its humble Southern California beginnings, the Fender Custom Shop has grown to become the world’s preeminent maker of highly collectible, custom instruments operating in Corona, Calif. Known as the “Dream Factory,” the Fender Custom Shop is also home to an honored group known as the Master Builders – some of the most-skilled luthiers in the world – who craft Fender’s legendary instruments and push the boundaries of possibility. The distinguished Master Builders make dream guitars a reality for players – from Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, H.E.R. and Jimmy Page to collectors, working professionals and guitar enthusiasts. As the epicenter of innovation at Fender and the pinnacle of the brand, ideas and production techniques devised in the Fender Custom Shop for both Masterbuilt and Teambuilt guitars go on to inspire and influence Fender’s other production line models.
ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:
Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)–whose portfolio of owned and licensed brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH®, Charvel®, Bigsby® and PreSonus® – follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest-quality instruments and digital experiences across genres. Since 2015, Fender’s digital arm has introduced a new ecosystem of products and interactive experiences to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. This includes innovative apps and learning platforms designed to complement Fender guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories and pro-audio gear, and inspire players through an immersive musical experience. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all players, from beginners to history-making legends. In 2021, Fender celebrated 75 years of giving artists “wings to fly,” carrying on the vision of its founder, Leo Fender, and connecting players through a shared love of music.