Inside the Fender Custom Shop and Factory in Corona
Yuriy Shishkov is a celebrated master builder at Fender’s Custom Shop in Corona. He creates guitars crafted from Alaskan yellow cedar "blanks" sawn from the Hollywood Bowl benches. In his early 50s, with silvering hair and moustache, Shishkov’s Mister Geppetto air is completed by half-moon glasses, tidy apron and hypnotic Old World accent. The Front Row Legend Esquire is the latest in a long line of imaginative creations from this self-taught luthier, who began building guitars from salvaged parts back in his native Belarus, then part of the Soviet Union, in 1986.