Maybe I'm A Leo

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RESEARCH:  Rob Carpenter


John R Campbell / Rob Carpenter


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


Clarence Leo Fender

A Leo Fender cash cheque for $100.00

Leo Fender at work in his lab

  Fender History

ZOOM into Fender History  Fender History

Details on Fender Headstock changes 1954 to 1974

ZOOM into Fender Headstock details  Headstocks

The CBS Legacy

ZOOM into the CBS Legacy  CBS Legacy

Fender Serial Numbers

ZOOM into Fender Vintage Serial Numbers  Serial Numbers


Sedley Wells

According to the late Alan Irvine, who worked at the Sedley Wells Limited music store 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.  Supposedly the owner of the business (the late Sedley Wells), had liased directly with the legendary Leo Fender at Fender Electric Instruments Company in Fullerton, California, USA and as a result Sedley Wells Limited was importing Fender equipment - including electric guitars, amplifiers, leads, strings and picks - an enterprise in a rapidly expanding industry sector.  The manager of Sedley Wells Limited at the time was Graeme Elcock, and Jack Speck was also on staff.  Sedley Wells Limited (nowadays owned by MusicWorks) has a proud history in the music business, and the company (which of course bears the name of the founder - Sedley Wells) dates back to 1935.  Anecdotally, in those early days, there was no New Zealand agent for the Fender range of instruments and accessories, and as previously stated, Sedley Wells personally conducted business directly with Leo Fender.



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,



The Meteors - Johnny Dick, Max Merritt, Peter Williams and
Billy Karaitiana with their matching set of White Fender guitars

The Meteors backing Lyn Barnett in 1964, showing Billy with
White Jazz Bass - Max and Peter still with Jansens

The Meteors - Peter, Billy, Johnny and Max with matching White Fenders
- Billy has added an extra strap button to the lower horn of his bass


Max Merritt and The Meteors - Johnny Dick, Max Merritt, Peter WIlliams and Mike Angland
Max and Peter with matching white Fender Stratocasters


The Invaders - Wally Scott, Billy Karaitiana, Dave Russell and Jimmy Hill
Wally and Dave with Fiesta Red Stratocaster, whilst Billy has a white Jazz Bass


Dave Chapman with his Sunburst Jazzmaster
part of the first Sedley Wells shipment - Dave paid £137/-


The Mustangs - John Kaye, Wayne Allen, Dave Chapman and Dougie Hancock

John - Sunburst Precision Bass, Dave - Sunburst Jazzmaster, Dougie Hancock - Stratocaster


Individual No-Remittance Licence Shipments:   In the day, import licences were required for all instruments, and the rule was that 1/3 of the price of the instrument had to be provided in Overseas Funds (that is to say the funds were provided from an overseas account - hence the term "No-Remittance Licence").  In the case of Johnny Campbell's independently imported Fiesta Red Startocaster, the purchase price was £117/-, which required the equivalent of £39/- to be paid overseas in foreign currency to the supplier prior to shipment.  Johnny also sorced a Watkins Copicat Tape Echo Unit which was imported on the same basis, and required £13/- of overseas funds relative to the purchase price of £39/-.



John Campbell, Detours 1962 Fiesta Red Stratocaster and Trevor Wright 1962 Jass Bass sunburst


The Second Shipment:    The Foam Green set of Fenders for The Playboys sat in the window of Sedley Wells for a couple of days before they were released to the group, photo shown is 1963, and these were L series instruments.   Mark Graham Foam Green Stratocaster later on-sold on to Kevin O'Neil, on-sold to Pete Sidery, later owned by Phil Jones circa 1970


John O'Neill, Kevin O'Neill, Brian Ringrose - Foam Green Stratocaster

Phil Jones with the ex-Playboys Foam Green Stratocaster


John O'Neill Foam Green Jazz Bass, possibly still has it


Neil Pickard, Undergrads - Fiesta Red Stratocaster

Serial 81065 (pre-L series)


Brian Thomas, Vigilantes - Daphne Blue Stratocaster (Serial # TBA)

Ted Meares, Venturers - Fiesta Red Stratocaster (Serial # TBA)


The Premiers - Pat [Rongo] Nehoneho with Sunburst Jaguar


Midge Marsden, Breakaways - Fiesta Red Stratocaster (paid £120/- in October 1963)


Don Clarkson, Ron Hunter and Peter Gillette Fiesta Red Stratocasters
Don's Strat was later on-sold to Dave Whiting


Don Clarkson and Dave Henderson Fiesta Red Stratocasters


Don Hickman 1963 Precision Bass (Serial # L 06218)


1964 shipment:   Dave Wells Sonic Blue Stratocaster (Beggs Invercargill 1963)
Dick Whatson Sunburst, refinished in Sonic Blue by Rob Carpenter later Bevis Thompson painted it Yellow


John Rouse, 1964 Sunburst Jazz Bass (Serial # L 26748)


Lenny Ormsby and Doug Henderson, The Falcons - Fiesta Red Stratocasters


Fender V1 Six-string Bass 1963 Shoreline Gold (Serial # L 15964)


Bill Te Ngahue, The Others - Sherwood Green Stratocaster (Serial # 22917)

Ivan Outram - Sherwood Green Stratocaster (Serial # 22917)


Ivan Outram now owns the ex-Bill Te Ngahue instrument


Bruce "Puck" Truman, Viscounts - Candy Apple Red Stratocaster


Don Hickman - White Jazz Bass (Serial # L)


John Campbell - Fender Stratocaster XII - Made in Japan
Owned from new by John Campbell


Manufactured circa 1986/1987
Serial No. F008631


Dave Gillies - Fender Stratocaster XII - Made in Japan
Owned from new by Dave Gillies


Manufactured circa 2009
Serial No. Q016312


Maybe I'm A Leo - by Deep Purple