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Old March 22nd, 2004, 01:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Steve Morse's "Tele"

I came across an old Guitar World mag from the early 80s and Steve Morse was on the cover with his "Tele". I must say that the work he did on this instrument makes Eddie Van Halen's first guitar look like it was delicately hand-crafted by John D'Angelico. Whew, what a mongrel Morse created, but I guess it gives him the sound he wants. He's certainly no slouch as a player.

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Old March 22nd, 2004, 01:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The guy that originally worked on Morse's FrankenTele is named Bert, don't remember his last name, but he did guitar work here in town for many years, & was the 'go to guy' for many players. I've recently heard rumors that he might be back in town... Bert did the original fret & neck work on my '52 RI - flattened the board a bit, installed slightly larger frets. It's the best neck work I've ever had done. That was about 10 years ago, & I just got my second fret crown on that neck, still going strong!

When I was going to school with Jimmy Herring in L.A. in the mid 80's, he sounded exactly like Steve Morse at that time. Not only that, but he had a dead on copy of Morse's FrankenTele... Of course, Jimmy has since found his own thing (huge understatement)!
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Old March 22nd, 2004, 02:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Interesting story on the git tech

I would have never realized that someone with some tech expertise & knowledge worked on that FrankenTele. It was weird, with that fat ol' strat neck & the four pickups. Haven't yet read the article but will plan to do so now.
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 02:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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To be clear...

For the record, Steve conceptualized & built that kooky Tele himself. Bert worked on it & tweaked it for him after the fact, as I understand it. I have that old issue of Guitar World around here somewhere too, but haven't been able to put my hands on it. But in addition to the strat neck with the Gibson style frets & the crazy toggle switches, it had a 12 string tailpiece & a Gibson Tune-O-Matic bridge. At some point he added the hexaphonic synth pickup as well. I guess the more current Ernie Ball signature model has the same basic format. Quite the purist, that Steve guy!
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 04:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've seen Steve play that Tele a couple of times in concert

since those days he' retired it and now playes his Ernie Ball Music Man Signature guitar which looks nothing like a Tele but has all of the same features and pickups etc...
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 07:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I did read the article (August 1982)

and there was a separate section on the guitar itself. At that time he said he had an exact duplicate of the guitar. The guy's name was Burt Foster of Campus Music in Atlanta.

Quote:
Burt Foster of Campus Music in Atlanta works on my guitar. He make the pickguard. Mark Mytrowitz handles my guitar on and off the stage, but I carry it with me all the time... If something happens to it, I can fix anything with parts from a hardware store or Radio Shack
Guess he doesn't shop at Vintique!

His pickups, from the neck to the bridge,

"Gibson humbucking pickup"
"stock Fender Strat pickup"
"a cylindrical Fender Telecast rhythm pickup; which looks like a little steel bar"
"a DiMarzio-modified Fender humbucking pickup that was custom made"
"The fifth pickup is a hex pickup made by 360 systems for the Slavedrive. I use this for tuning all the time since it's a separate, complete send that I can have on without having my guitar sound."

Quite an instrument to say the least.
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I always loved Steve's Franken Tele.





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Old March 23rd, 2004, 11:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Burt, not Bert! Foster, that is.

Hey thanks for following up on that, Oskar. That guy's work was fantastic. Real curious as to whether he's back around this neck of the woods again.
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Old March 24th, 2004, 01:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That looks so much better then his blue plank with 2394 pups.
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Old March 26th, 2004, 11:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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am i mistaken......

.....but didn't Morse used to play Buscarino/Nova tele's forr a while?
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Old March 26th, 2004, 11:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: am i mistaken......

Quote:
Originally Posted by fearofnormalcy
.....but didn't Morse used to play Buscarino/Nova tele's forr a while?
I believe his classical is a Buscarino.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 12:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halouis


Gorgeous!

The FrankenTele is nice too. ;)
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Old March 27th, 2004, 05:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I saw the Dregs in 1982 when I was living down in Pensacola Florida. That guitar did sound awfully good.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 07:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Didn't Steve Morse own a second Tele?

I have seen pictures of him playing a similar tele with the exception of it having open black bobbin humbuckers and black single coils and a normal tele neck and headstock. Does anybody have any details on that one?

And according to Steve Morse himself in a 1996 interview he stated that he went to Fender for a signature model when his Tele was worn down but they asked him to step away from the four pickup system and switching because it would bee too complicated and too costly for them to manufacture so he went "Forget it"and approached a smaller builder who didn't make a fuss about switching and pickups and that turned out to be Music man
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Old April 21st, 2010, 12:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I realize that this thread is old but I stumbled on it and would like to set the record straight.


My name is Bert Foster. I am the guy who worked on Steve's Tele. Yes it was a Frankinstein but that's whaty Steve did to it all I ever did was fret it several times. The magazine article showed my name as "Burt" even after I received a call from Guitar Player Magazine where they wanted to confirm the spelling. From what I was told two different writers interviewed Steve and the editor made one story out of the two interviews. In the article it says that Steve put Gibson frets in his guitar. He did not I fretted it with 6100 Dunlap frets. The tallest and fattest frets made at that time. I take no responsibility for that black horrible pick guard.

I still repair guitars and build guitars in Gainesville, GA in a shop next to my home.

http://sites.google.com/site/bertsguitarshop/

To all of my old customers I would like to see you and catch up on what we've all been doing.
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Old April 21st, 2010, 01:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Old April 21st, 2010, 07:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Either that pic has weird perspective, or Steve Morse is short.
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Old April 21st, 2010, 07:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Here's the link to his latest stuff.

http://www.stevemorse.com/gear.html

Bert...Thanks for dropping in. It's great to get first hand information!

Peace, Mike.
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Old April 21st, 2010, 08:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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In the May 2010 issue of Guitar Player interview Steve Morse briefly discusses the Frankenstein Telecaster and the two MusicMan signature models.
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Old April 21st, 2010, 10:59 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The Tele resides on the North Shore of Long Island, safe in a case under a bed.
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