Even though I have tons of country influences that never made me feel like going for teles until I saw Mick Mars from Motley Crue playing with one and that was mind blowing. I checked some teles a few days later and the history and simplicity of this guitar won me. Since then I'm super obsessed with it.
I first heard Springsteen at college in 1973, and I thought that he had a refreshing sound, but I couldn't put my finger on in at first. Then I found out he was playing a Tele. I was so use to hearing Strats and LPs in rock. The Boss won me over.
I dig Americana (could argue that's countryish), indie rock and singer songwriter stuff. When I started looking for an electric earlier this year, I kept seeing and hearing a wide variety of artists getting great sounds across multiple genres. It was a no brainer.
I'm Not a country guy by any means. I grew up on Eddie van Halen, Joe satriani, Eric Johnson and stevie Ray. About 6 or 7 years ago I saw skunk Baxter at the NAMM show like always sitting in that little booth alone just him and a les paul and a twin. But that year he had a limited addition spalted maple tele as well as his paul. I was really impressed with the tone specially for a korean fender. Not two weeks later im in the local mom and pop music store and they have one hanging there. Im talking to the shop owner, he is telling me those are his favorite guitar ever. And he can't keep them in stock. As I'm buying it a guy that had seen it earlier was coming in to buy it. Got it home plug it in to an ac15tbx and I know why. That guitar with that amp is one of the best sounds EVER.
My dad bought me a Kay starter guitar for Christmas in 1987. I was 13. After I took to it, he started trading up for slightly better guitars until my 5th guitar-my first telecaster (body)-which was a new 1991 American G&L ASAT.
I certainly didn't pick it because of any particular artist or because it sounded different than a strat or Les Paul or semi hollow or anything. I wouldn't have known the difference. Who knows, I may not even have liked it at the time.
Today I took that same ASAT to get its first re-fret. I could have bought a good used guitar or a new neck for what I'm paying, but this guitar is my #1.