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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Why'd Chuck not play a tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by neckradius, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. neckradius

    neckradius Tele-Holic

    Jan 17, 2013
    New York
    Presumably the answer is generic personal preference, along with the fact that Chuck's personality seemed like he was someone who would become very set in his ways. But he did change some, going from the big p-90 thing to the 355 and variations.

    But blues based rock n roll with country twang to it, I mean, doesn't that describe music that is ideally suited for a tele? Or, put another way, isn't that what a tele is made for and excels at?

    And it isn't like he was unaware of them- his friend Muddy Waters used one.

    I know the general answer is he played what he wanted to play. I do wonder if there was anything more specific.

    Anyone here use a tele to play chuck berry songs in a band?
    RetroTeleRod likes this.

  2. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 14, 2013

  3. Chris S.

    Chris S. Asst. Admin Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Near TELE-Town (Wash. DC)
    Admin Post
    Remember, during the 50s, Fender guitars were considered cheaper alternatives to the REAL electrics, i.e., Gibsons. And the Tele in particular was often seen as a favorite of country & Western players. Not surprising Chuck went from an ES-350 to an ES-355. CS
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    drlucky, brbadg, Route67 and 4 others like this.

  4. Fret Wilkes

    Fret Wilkes Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    Mar 23, 2003
    Harmony, R.I.
    "If Johnny B. Goode had one he would have been the St. Louis Telecaster hoss" B. Kirchen
    drlucky, Manual Slim and Rustbucket like this.

  5. brokenbones

    brokenbones Tele-Meister

    Mar 15, 2012
    Hail, Hail, Chuck Berry.
    LAGinz likes this.

  6. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 11, 2016
    Las Vegas, NV
    As his career "evolved" he often played a stereo 345. He liked to be "LOUD" and the 345 allowed the easy use of two Fender Twins! By the time he started showing up to gigs with only a briefcase, he played whatever was on hand/rented for him. He gravitated to insisting on being paid upon arrival and generally didn't give two poops once he had cash in hand! He didn't care much about the gear, but was known for walking out, if the band wasn't proficient at playing his material. He was also notorious for randomly changing the keys of his songs just to mess with the "pick up" bands' members, just for his amusement! :eek: Imagine a poor piano player having to play Johnny B. Goode in B flat! Chuck, while truly a legend, was definitely one odd guy.
    Just Sayin'
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017

  7. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 14, 2013
    i.e. a rock n roller to the end

  8. Milspec

    Milspec Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2016
    Because Chuck says so....his is the only one that I know of who gets credit for punching out both Keith Richards and Jerry Lee Lewis.

  9. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

    Nov 5, 2013
    When I saw him it was two Fender Dual Showmans . And the local pick-up group. And the calling of the keys.
    drlucky likes this.

  10. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Berry was kinda a douche.
    Often very arrogant.
    About what? 1-5-4?
    Often changing keys to mess with
    His pickup players, who were already getting screwed.
    Totally screwed over his pianist, who wrote much of the music.
    And in latter years, didn't even bother to be in tune to whatever key he was pulling a fast one on.
    Punched Keef for touching his guitar.
    [Mod. edit]
    I bet he thought Teles were junk, fits the M.O.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2017
    cnlbb and tonytrout like this.

  11. rze99

    rze99 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Feb 26, 2014
    South London UK
    Maybe he simply didn't rate them when compared against his Gibsons.
    colchar and Piggy Stu like this.

  12. memorex

    memorex Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 14, 2015
    The tele didn't work with the duckwalk.
    Frozensoda and Guitar_Gunman like this.

  13. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Meister

    To me it's rather simple. To me a Tele is the most versatile of instruments. A proper workhorse. Played with style and class. Is there any tone/style that you cannot get from a Telecaster? He had one riff, one sound - A Telecaster didn't fit his 'dress code'. Limited sound. So he choose and instrument that personified that. I know that sounds a little harsh and perhaps derogatory. But! We are all entitled to our own opinions. He done nothing for me, both style and sound.

  14. tonytrout

    tonytrout Friend of Leo's

    Mar 19, 2003
    Brasstown/Murphy, NC

    And this, ladies and gents, are my reasons for not being a Chuck Berry fan. He thought he was "the stuff" and had the ego to prove it. Just watch "Hail! Hail! Rock & Roll" and you'll see that ego present itself.
    boredguy6060, DonM, 00HEFF and 2 others like this.

  15. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2014
    Behind my beard.'s too late to ask him now.

  16. cnlbb

    cnlbb Tele-Holic

    Jun 19, 2014
    United States
    Well... the problem is that he kinda was all that. Sure he was a terrible person, but a terrible person who had all of talent of the world.

    People trip over themselves to say what a bad person he was almost as quick as others excuse it. Whatever they've opened a copy of Rolling Stone in the last thirty years; everyone knows and he knew everyone knew and didn't care. Does't change the fact that J.B.G. is a perfect song.

  17. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

    Oct 10, 2010
    Twangers Medows USA
    Why does it matter?
    Tonetele, colchar and Manual Slim like this.

  18. neckradius

    neckradius Tele-Holic

    Jan 17, 2013
    New York
    Just wondering. This is a telecaster discussion forum, isn't it?
    1hoofer likes this.

  19. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

    Oct 10, 2010
    Twangers Medows USA
    He played a Gibson didn't he?

  20. dblues

    dblues Tele-Holic

    Apr 3, 2011
    smyrna tn
    It may or may not have been recorded in B flat but that's what came out of my speakers when playing CB Greatest Hits @ 33rpm years ago. B flat still sounds best to me and I prefer it but don't insist on it cause I'm not Chuck Berry.
    BuckSatan and farmcaster like this.

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