Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, The Edge and Eric Clapton have paid tribute to Fender guitar mastermind Leo Fender, who was posthumously honored by the Recording Academy of America during Grammy weekend (07Feb09).

Fender, who died in 1991, was honored with the Academy's Technical Award during a ceremony on Saturday. His Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars revolutionized rock music, and the world's top players use either one or both when recording and performing.

In a tribute piece in the Los Angeles Times newspaper, Clapton recalls the first time he saw a Fender: "It was the perfect design. It looked like a spaceship. I loved that it was new and exciting and like science fiction."

And U2 star The Edge reveals he bought "the Strat" he performs on hits like Pride (In the Name of Love) and Where the Streets Have No Name as soon as the Irish rockers signed their first record contract.

Springsteen insists, "I will be buried with my Tele(caster) on," while Rolling Stones star Richards adds, "There's a beautiful individuality about Leo's work." (KL/LAT/MT)

Copyright 2008 WENN

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