Authentic Tadeo Gomez signature/initials or forgery? Any opinions on this "1952" Tele?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by BodhiSM, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Dads 52

    Dads 52 TDPRI Member

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    Here are a few photo's of my Dad's 52. Some old timers may remember the threads on this guitar from back in 2007-2008. Ole Fuzzy was so helpful as well as Dave Yeats, Nacho and many others. Yes it's real and has been authenticated by several people.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Remember a couple of things here: Fender was a cottage industry, and primarily organised by a radio repairman, with probably friends or acquaintances working for him. That made them small, and flexible, and able to react. Trussrodless-necks not working? Head out there and replace them.

    There were no time-and-motion experts, beancounters/suits involved. They hired semi-skilled handy guys, but not luthiers capable of making Gibson-level inlaid, set neck hollow body guitars. I'm sure Tadeo and his fellow workers had pride in their work and earned their money. But the adulation as 'luthiers' of note is antithetical to the genesis of Fender.

    They were blue collar guys building solid blue collar guitars, worthy of respect for being part of a cultural revolution. But basically, doing their job. A good job, given the survival rate and venerated product. But at the end of the day Tadeo and Nunez and all the others could obviously make good parts with care and attention, but it's not brain surgery. They were hired a labourers, not luthiers.
     
  3. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Amen!

    Sadly many have the mythical vision of Tadeo sat outside in the California sunshine, slowly and methodically sanding a ‘Tadeo taper’ and Leo patting him on the back and saying ‘Take you time with that one and make it one of your best’.

    :) Peter
     
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  4. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    Gibson was pretty much the same. Some of the best acoustic guitars Gibson ever made were from the banner era when the men all went off to war and they hired women who had no experience in guitar building to replace them.
    By that era they were all factories, Gibson, Martin et al.
     
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  5. bterry

    bterry Tele-Meister

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    Of all the things to be focused on in terms of authenticaton, I think pencil dates should be one of the last things you look at, honestly.

    It’s well documented that TG either signed and dated guitars differently at different times or there are a myriad of theories as to why his handwriting changes, but really, there are 99 better and more accurate ways to date the guitar in question.

    Based on all the different TG sigs i’ve seen over the years, at least I wouldn’t start to question it unless there are a few other things about the guitar that give you pause...

    Oh, and TG did sign bodies but most you see are early on - I have seen a few ‘53s with TG signed bodies, too.
     
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  6. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you for this post! It makes me crazy to read post after post about Tadeo, Maria, and any other early Fender employees and all the minutiae surrounding the early Fender guitars. Those folks were factory workers trying to make a living, they were not luthiers, or artists, or even craftsmen, as far as I'm concerned. They may as well have been making table lamps...
     
  7. agogetr

    agogetr Tele-Meister

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    looks legit. when he crossed the t it trailed upwards he did his g 2 or 3 diferent ways, really square or rounded like this one, others i have seen even different yet, i had a theory that different shapers used his initials, purely speculation.numbers look right. i always wondered if the d was stamped in when the neck was 'done' ready to screw to the body. nice score bro
     
  8. aadvark

    aadvark Tele-Meister

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    looks similar to mine TG 9-11-52 neck date.JPG
     
  9. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    We like to venerate these people and they're worthy of respect. Tadeo left Fender and came back in the 70s as nightwatchman. Maybe semi retired? One of the big guitar mags around ten years ago tracked down his family - he'd passed on five or so years before.

    They said he thought he had a good job where he liked the boss and fellow workers, and was respected. He liked Leo who would stop and talk and treated his workers well, Christmas bonus, barbeque at his house etc.

    But they were amazed to discover 'TG' guitars were cult status - they said he just thought of himself as a humble modest guy providing for his family and he was by all accounts a good honest man. He was proud of that but never bignoted himself as 'I helped start Fender' or any of that. He did his job, got his pay and was a trusted guy with a lot of responsibility for finished product.

    I'm sure Abigail Ybarra wound a great rack of pickups in a day, consistent and to spec with no waste of Formvar, and was a valued employee. But she had no magic dust to sprinkle on them.

    Someday they'll make a film about Fender. Lou Diamond Phillips would be a good Tadeo I reckon.
     
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  10. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Holic

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    Pretty much this. As it is today.
     
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  11. 56Tweed

    56Tweed TDPRI Member

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    It was a different time. People valued hard work and honesty (mostly) and most shied away from self-promotion. As somebody that works in the tech industry, I cannot tell you how different that is from my day to day normal in every way.

    Sadly, if Hollywood made a movie of it, it would likely be a Tarantino picture and TG would be played by Danny Trejo. Not that I don't love both, but the point of the story changes.
     
  12. Skamania

    Skamania Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I have a 53 Tele with the neck signed by Tadeo and the 5 and 2 are similar to mine.

    You might take your guitar to Norms in Tarzana, as an idea.

    Folks question whether Tadeo could have signed as many guitar necks and bodies as he did. If you consider he worked an 8 hour day at 5 days a week thats 40 hours. Consider in an 8 hour day he sanded maybe 3 or 4 necks an hour. His supervisor probably wanted more production from him and that could be why he left for Disneyland. At 4 necks an hour in an 8 hour day he would have competed 32 necks a day, or 160 a week. If he worked 49 weeks a year that would be 7,840 necks he would have signed per year. If you think he had to sign the neck "on end" that is a hard way to sign something.

    You would think they might make a wood holder to slip the neck in in order to sign it more easily. But they probably didn't have that. So you have to balance the neck while trying to sign it. And you might get tired of signing the same way every time.
     
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