Fender Telecaster guitars
Fender Telecaster guitars are a model of electric guitars manufactured by Fender Guitars.
In 1950, Fender released the Esquire, its first solid body electric guitar. This guitar had a black-finish and was equipped with a white-pickguard. Only 50 of these guitars were made, with most being returned because owners found its neck to be too malleable (which was caused by its lack of a stabilizing rod).
During the same year, Fender remodelled the Esquire and fitted it with two pick-ups and a black pickguard. The upgraded model, which had a butterscotch finish, was sold as the Broadcaster. Fender sold between 300 to 500 of these electric guitars (which featured a rod in the neck) before they stopped production, as it was discovered that Gretcsh had been manufacturing a drum set named Broadkaster since the 1920s.
As the company did not want to completely discontinue the line, they continued making the guitar but without the Broadcaster label. These guitars which had no names on them were called Nocasters (only around 60 units were sold) and are considered to be the most collectible vintage Fender electric guitars around.
Finally in April of 1951, Fender was able to find a new name for the guitar – the Telecaster. The finishes of the early versions of this guitar ranged from “Tele blond” (1955) to sunbursts (1957 to 1958). During the 1950s, the company painted the guitar with Dupont Duco colors, while in 1968 they made use of a hippie-inspired design — blue flowers and pink paisleys.
Also in 1968, Fender released a new Telecaster model named Thinline. It came with a mahogany or ash body and was not solidly constructed as it had a hollow part (on the bass side of the guitar). This was done so as to lighten the weight of the Thinline as at that time, the company had no choice but to use materials that were a bit heavy.
1972 was the year when the company released a premium version of the Telecaster named Telecaster Custom. The guitar came with humbucker pickups which gave it a warmer tone, which is vastly different from the bright sound produced by the original version.
Famous artists and musicians who use/used Telecaster guitars
Among the popular musical artists that were known to use Telecasters were Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and Elvis Presley. When he was still a member of the group Yardbirds, Eric Clapton played a Telecaster guitar. George Harrison was also reported to use Telecasters whenever he played the hit Beatles song, “Let it Be.”
Rolling Stones’ lead guitarist Keith Richards has been using a Telecaster Custom since 1972 (when it was released to the market) while the cover of American rock artist Bruce Springsteen’s album, "Born To Run," features the musician posing with his Telecaster. Perhaps one of the most famous musicians known to patronize Telecaster guitars is Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. Page used to own a hand-painted Telecaster which he is known to use whenever he played his highly celebrated song, "Stairway to Heaven."
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