A 1962 Fiesta Red Fender Stratocaster ....
This page will endeavour to outline and chronical the arrival of Fender instruments into Christchurch from the early 1960s — it will continue to remain a work in progress
According to Alan Irvine who worked at Sedley Wells at the time, shipments of Fender instruments started arriving around September of 1962, although there is speculation in some quarters that things may have been happening slightly earlier that that. The manager of Sedley Wells at the time was Graeme Alcott, and Jack Speck was also on staff. Sedley Wells (nowadays owned by MusicWorks) has a proud history in the music trade, and the company (which bears the name of the founder - Sedley Wells) dates back to 1935. Supposedly initially, there was no New Zealand agent for Fender, and Sedley Wells personally conducted business directly with Leo Fender at Fender Electric Instruments Company in California, USA.
The First Shipment:
Returning to Alan Irvine's recollections, the first shipment which arrived included two Fiesta Red Stratocasters one of which went to Dave Russell. and the other went to Brian Ringrose (who quickly on-sold it to Wally Scott). Wally had arrived in Christchurch from Mataura with a Gibson ES-175 electric jazz guitar to join The Invaders. Puni Solomon acquired a Fiesta Red Precision Bass (a photo is needed here to support that, as the first Invaders pic (taken at The Plainsman, shows Puni playing a Jansen "Longhorn" Bass. Billy Karaitiana (Kristian) acquired a White Jazz Bass (this must be correct because he had this bass before Max Merritt's and Peter Williams' Stratocasters arrived in early 1963. A hard-tail Fiesta Red Stratocaster arrived as a result of a mistake in the order, and this went to John Carruthers as that instrument was obviously not pre-sold,