New member here, but I'm not new to the Telecaster.

Discussion in 'Welcome Wagon' started by stanger, Mar 14, 2019 at 2:22 AM.

  1. stanger

    stanger TDPRI Member

    Age:
    74
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    Idaho Falls, Idaho
    Hi folks...
    I'm glad I discovered this forum!

    I'm 74, and am a retired pro musician. Music was only one of my peculiar careers, and more of a sideline than the others, as I have always made most of my income as an artist. But there were many years when that sideline was more profitable than my artistry.

    My love of the Telecaster was accidental, as I've always been a banjoist first and foremost, and never had much interest in playing any electric instrument until I had been playing the banjo and an acoustic guitar for over 10 years.

    I was around 28 before I ever picked up a Tele, and I chose the guitar only because I was newly married and had an offer to join a good local dance band drop in my lap. My Martin wouldn't ever cut the mustard in it, so I needed an electric guitar.

    The Tele is the most banjo-like guitar ever made in my view, and once I tried one out in early 1972, at a music store owned by a friend, who let me take it out on a gig, I knew it was the right choice for me, and bought it. My first Tele was made in either 1969 or 1970 (can't remember just when it was made anymore), and it became my go-to electric for the next 27 years.

    I was never the best player on any of my instruments, but I've always had a very wide range of musical interests; I love jazz as much as bluegrass, and country just as much as rock, and I don't mind playing a sappy top-40 kid hit if the pay is good. So it all led me into many different bands, and my Tele could handle anything I was ever able to play in them all.

    Eventually, I got a reputation as a good replacement player for the times when a band's regular lead player couldn't make a gig. I became fairly adept at winging it stone cold, and the Tele really helped me out with its simplicity.
    For several years, I made enough money as a substitute player that I really enjoyed that work more than as a member in a steady-playing band, as it allowed me more freedom at a time when my other work was paying the bills and feeding the bulldog. The drop-in gigs were gravy that allowed me to afford giving my kids and wife some of life's pleasant extras.

    Later on, I joined a lady I knew for years and we formed a duo. She is a great singer and plays a good solid bass, but I suddenly had a lot more roles to fill in a duo than I ever had before, so I sold my well-worn old Tele to buy a new Stratocaster, which was a more flexible guitar for the need, but one I liked, not not as much as a Tele. The Strat was a rare model, one that had the same 1 switch, 2 knob setup of the Teles htat Fender only made for a short time in the 80s.

    We finally hung up the duo after 11 years, and I quit the music business when we quit as a duo. Eventually, I sold the Strat too, and gradually quit playing at home as well. But during that time, I worked for Gibson in their acoustic guitar factory in Montana, so I really never did quit the biz.

    After working at Gibson twice, 10 years apart, I finally retired for good in 2004, and until recently, writing has taken up my free time. I got so rusty on my acoustic guitars I didn't even want to pick them up, but a good old friend would call from time to time.
    He had a home music recording studio, and he would call up his pals and would sometimes just play, but other times preferred to record the rest of us.

    He owned a swell Telecaster, a 2004, I loved to play every time I went to one of his jams. He was a half-owner in a music store, so he always could pick out a good guitar. It revived my interest in playing the electric again, and I wanted to buy another Tele.

    I suddenly got his about a month ago. Sadly, he discovered he had a lethal inoperable brain cancer. He was a very courageous man, so he faced his impending death head-on, and he wanted his friends to get his best instruments before he died.
    The cancer was merciful in that regard; he was never in pain, and he was given just enough time to get his affairs settled to his satisfaction. His passing was very quick and painless.

    So now I have his guitar. I'll never sell it, of course, but I doubt I'll ever want to. He was an ace repairman for a long time, and the Tele was his favorite, and it's so well set up and adjusted it will never need any work done on it. All I'll ever have to do is change the strings and keep it clean.

    It helped me with my grief a lot since then. While its acquisition came from a sad necessity, I was honored that it was reserved for me, and now, entirely through strange consequences, I'm now back to possessing the only electric guitar I'll ever need for the rest of my life. It's been a very long, strange circle that encompasses 50 years of my lifetime that was once open and is not closed once more.
     
    JL_LI, MrHamburger, ukepicker and 5 others like this.
  2. Ledjunkie

    Ledjunkie TDPRI Member

    Posts:
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    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Location:
    Alabama
    Welcome Stagner!
    I believe you are one of the ODE Banjo gurus from the BanjoHangout I presume? If so I personally welcome your depth and breadth of knowledge of stringed instruments to this forum.

    I am sorry for the loss of your good friend. Cancer is truly a terrible thing. I have several family members currently battling it. I wish you all the best in your time of grieving. At least you have the telecaster gifted to you from him and it will always hold part of his spirit and be a daily reminder you the friendship you both had.

    This is the absolute best resource for Telecasters and a great group of people. I hope you find a home here.
     
    stanger likes this.
  3. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Tennessee
    Welcome to TDPRI :)
     
    stanger likes this.
  4. stanger

    stanger TDPRI Member

    Age:
    74
    Posts:
    13
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Idaho Falls, Idaho
    Yup. That's me! I've been a regular on the Banjo Hangout since 2006.
    Thanks for the compliment. The ODE banjos have been my thing ever since 1964.

    Thanks for your condolences, too. I, too, have some family members who fought cancer. Fortunately, they beat it.

    My friend Larry never knew he had cancer until it suddenly hit him with a minor stroke. He was inflicted with glioblastoma, the cancer the oncologists call The Terminator. It has a 99.5 lethality rate and nothing has ever been found so far that will kill it.

    But even then, Larry was actually spared a lot of deep pain. When discovered early, the survival rate is a year at most, and most sufferers expire in deep pain unless they're totally stoned on morphine. To the end, Larry never had any pain at all, and the steroids he was given stopped the cancer's growth just long enough for him to settle his affairs, spend time with all his friends, and then spend his very last days with his daughter and his best girlfriend ever by his side. When he passed, it came in a flash. His girlfriend told me he never suffered at all, and that knowledge was a real blessing for me.

    It was a hard time counting down his days, though, and at first, his Tele was kind of like getting a tombstone as a gift during that time for me. But once he was gone, that feeling left, and now I treasure the guitar for what it is as much as for the memories it has for my friend. It's a testament to his generous nature to me now, and that's a very good memory to keep.

    We are all going to leave sometime, so I plan on passing on the Tele if I can when my time comes. Someone else will certainly appreciate it if I do, and that will keep both memories of Larry and me alive for a while. That's a very nice thought for me.
    regards,
    stanger
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
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    Austin, Tx
    Howdy!
     
    stanger likes this.
  6. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    Welcome to the TDPRI.
     
  7. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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    Croeso!
     
  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Welcome.....I think it's great that you can "honor" your friend every time you pick up and play your (his) Telecaster......make it count!
     
  9. bangcaster

    bangcaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
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    Welcome, you will like it here.
     
  10. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman TDPRI Member

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    Welcome stranger. I’ve only been a member here a short time as well but have found it very enjoyable so far.
     
  11. Anita Bonghit

    Anita Bonghit Tele-Meister

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    Colorado
    Greetings from Colorado Stanger !!
     
  12. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Meister

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    Albuquerque
    Welcome from Albuquerque :D
     
  13. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome

    Eric
     
  14. cincyguitarplay

    cincyguitarplay Tele-Meister

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    ohio
    Welcome to the forum!...
     
  15. Bluetelecaster

    Bluetelecaster TDPRI Member

    Age:
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    Waynesville NC
    Hey Stranger! TOMCAT from BHO. Good to see you here. I just joined up my self the other day.
     
  16. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    West O' Philly, PA
    Welcome to the fold! We need pics of your Tele.

    SB
     
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