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The Independent Online

The Fender Stratocaster: those words alone are enough to send shivers down the spine of anyone with an ounce of rock'n'roll in them. But the grandiloquent nomenclature is one thing – the musical instrument itself quite another.

The Stratocaster – and its sibling the Telecaster – have played pivotal roles in the sounds that have shaped the past half century, from Jimi Hendrix to David Bowie and Jimmy Page to Mark Knopfler. And they have inspired countless fans to dream that one day they wield such a wondrous guitar in front of an adoring audience.

Well – the next best thing may be possible. Fender is going public, listing its shares on the Nasdaq in New York. We can all get a slice of the action – financially anyway, if not musically. And with Fender so hunky-dory that it needs new money to expand, the investment might yet prove a stairway to heaven.