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Luther Perkins may have played a Telecaster in 1955!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by LutherPerkins101, Feb 11, 2019 at 9:41 PM.

  1. LutherPerkins101

    LutherPerkins101 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    7
    Oct 12, 2018
    Tennessee
    9FD8BF2D-7136-40A2-AE23-D5C6F28701D7.jpeg DEB2EEDB-C6F7-4ACF-A261-105550C1FB0E.jpeg [​IMG] I may be onto something... In Marshall Grants book, I Was There When It Happened. He says several times that Luther played a telecaster. I was doing research and found a couple photos of Luther in July of 1955 playing what looks like a butterscotch telecaster! I think I may see a neck pickup in this photo! However, they did make a butterscotch esquire. So it could be an Esquire. But Statistically, telecasters were more popular in the 50s. Which leads me to believe that he could have very well played a telecaster, then after a brief romance switched to an Esquire. Which the next guitar he played would be a fiesta red esquire. Luther may have found no use for the neck pickup and based his decision to start playing esquires on that principle. You can barely tell the difference tonally between an Esquire and telecaster when it come to playing the bridge pickup. This is just my theory, but you could actually be hearing a telecaster on Hey Porter and Cry, Cry, Cry!
     
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  2. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    46
    Jun 16, 2009
    austin texas
    Hmmm not sure there.I don't see anything resembling a neck pickup which would contrast at least a bit on the black pickguard.Blackguard Esquires were also available then so it can be just as easy to assume it is one.But the black and white photo is raw and a bit unfocused so perhaps there is a neck pickup there that is well hidden by the unfocused pic.I'm leaning more towards Esquire rather than Tele.
     
  3. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Holic

    865
    Mar 1, 2011
    Beltway, USA
    I increased the contrast and enlarged it to 500% (any more than that shows the half-tone screen) and could not see a neck pickup. One would think a silver cover would show. A forensic analysis is required for better confirmation.

    Luther P Tele.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 11:07 AM
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  4. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    Marginally related-
    Apparently a lot of people are unaware that CARL Perkins (they are not related, for the record) also did a stint as Johnny's guitarist.
     
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  5. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Meiners Oaks CA.
  6. LutherPerkins101

    LutherPerkins101 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    7
    Oct 12, 2018
    Tennessee
    It’s hard to tell indeed, however Marshall Grant says in I Was There When it Happened that Luther played a telecaster at first.
     
  7. esetter

    esetter Friend of Leo's

    Sep 1, 2011
    MI
    Everyone knows that “Luther played the boogie”!
     
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  8. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    51
    Mar 5, 2009
    Georgetown, TX
    That's a regular ol' Esquire in that photo...just like Mick Ronson's old one that Marty Stuart owns and sometimes plays.
     
  9. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    43
    Mar 18, 2010
    Paris France - Rome Italy
    It is an Esquire to my eyes.
     
  10. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

    316
    Mar 24, 2003
    (Age 55) Toronto
    Fwiw, lot's of people call an esquire a "telecaster"... I know, the horror! :eek: ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019 at 9:13 PM
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  11. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    italy
    Admin Post
    does that look like a maple neck to you ?
     
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  12. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Jul 15, 2013
    Europa

    That is 2019 logic ... I'm guessing 1955 logic would more be I had to give up my tele due to urgent money troubles, but was lucky to find a cheap esquire with a broken volume pot instead
     
  13. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    Yes, I think it's a maple neck/board and poor lighting

    So everyone can now afford everything they want , in the current year?
     
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  14. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    italy
    Admin Post
    isn't there a better pic around ? but imho looks like an esquire
     
  15. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Jul 15, 2013
    Europa
    Everyone is stretching it .. but definately more than back then .. and also you can get a killer Squier classic vibe (or 198 other cheap but fully functional teles of a wide range of brands) if you can't afford a us fender, while back then choice was limited

    But yeah .. fine tuning number of pickups and whatever other adjustments is probably more a 2019 thing than a 1955 thing, where you probably just made due with what was available.

    (Hell, back in the late 80s when I was starting out you could either shell out on a us guitar or play utter crap, all the middle of the road stuff we have now was simply not there)
     
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  16. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    italy
    Admin Post
    yup, i think that too.. i don't think there wasn't any of choices we have today, want a geetar ? theres this one and this one ... those were practical guys how'd probably fix a broken string with some tape and a shoestring to get playing :)
     
  17. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Age:
    67
    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    I think it has been pretty well established that primarily played a single pickup guitar with flatwounds.

    In defense of Grant, “Telecaster” is a pretty generic name for anything that has that shape. I doubt he and Luther had many discussions about guitars. If you know what I mean :)
     
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  18. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 6, 2010
    Very Deep South
    Both "boogie" and "woogie"
     
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  19. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    I can see a neck pickup in that. I won't say 100% sure, but it does look like one.
     
  20. mrmousey

    mrmousey Tele-Meister

    Age:
    68
    330
    Aug 6, 2016
    Largo, Fl
    Yeah, maybe he didn't know the difference between an Esquire and a Tele
    Maybe to him they were all teles
    Just sayin' .......
     
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