One of London’s New Routemaster buses has been wrapped in a Fender inspired design which includes an image of a giant Stratocaster guitar emblazoned across it. Fender have produced 25 limited edition guitars echoing the design of a Routemaster bus – complete with classic features such as the iconic Transport for London (TfL) ‘Roundel’ and a ‘moquette’ seat fabric design. Last night the eagerly awaited ‘Rock n Roll’ style Routemaster and the ultra-rare guitar were unveiled to a crowd in the heart of Camden – an area steeped in rich musical history. The Fender themed Routemaster played host to the cream of London’s new and unsigned musical talent, with Violet Bones being crowned the winners of a competition hosted by Strummerville - the Joe Strummer new music foundation.
Speaking at the London Transport Museum, at which Fender put on a night of celebration for the two design icons, Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “We are delighted to celebrate the 60th anniversary of two design icons in such a unique way. The bus network has played a crucial and unsung role in London’s rich musical heritage for many decades – transporting thousands upon thousands of music lovers to gigs at venues right across the city every week – and, perhaps even more importantly, getting them home safely after those amazing performances they will never forget.”
The Fender inspired Routemaster bus will now serve the number 24 route – London’s ‘musical heritage route’, which takes in Camden – the home of the Jazz Cafe and Roundhouse, the epicentre of the UK’s musical instrument industry at ‘tin pan alley’, and Oxford Street – where the legendary 100 club has entertained music fans for decades.
“There is an inexorable link between Fender and iconic British music from The Yardbirds and The Who to bands like The Clash, Blur and more,” said Justin Norvell, vice president of marketing for Fender. “Our histories and futures are intertwined, and this Routemaster bus is a fantastic way to honour that musical and historical connection.”
As part of the celebrations for Year of the Bus, TfL teamed up with Fender in recognition of how both organisations have played an enormous part in London’s love-affair with music – providing the instruments with which countless stars have written and performed their hits, and the means of getting to gigs and events across London.
This year sees a number of important anniversaries - 60 years since the creation of the original and iconic Routemaster, 75 years since the launch of its predecessor the RT-Type bus and 100 years since hundreds of London buses were sent to the Western Front to play a crucial role during the First World War.
Throughout this year, Transport for London – working in partnership with London Transport Museum – will host a number of engaging events, exhibitions, recreations and other activities that will re-connect Londoners with their bus network and remind the world of the role that London buses, the bus drivers and the staff who support them, play in keeping London moving 24 hours a day 364 days of the year.