My Telecaster Tale...what's yours?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by sloppychops, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Meister

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    When I went looking for my first electric, back in the pre-internet era, I had it narrowed down to a white Ibanez Strat copy someone advertised in the local paper and a beat up LPB Tele I saw at a pawn shop. I looked at the Strat first and it was glorious, plus it came with a nice Fender case missing the metal Fender logo.

    The Tele I stumbled upon when looking in the pawn shop. There was something about it that seemed really cool, even though it was beat up. The older brother of a girl down the street from me was a musician and he came with me to check it out. I remember he played "Mississippi Queen" on it and it sounded incredible. But it was all beat up looking, and it was more than the Ibanez, and it didn't come with a case. I went back and bought the Ibanez.

    The next day, I had a sickening feeling that I had made a huge mistake. I thought maybe I could go back and get the Tele, then sell the Ibanez. Went through all the cash I had left from mowing lawns, but was way short. I thought about asking my parents for a loan, but they already frowned on me having one electric guitar, so I didn't bother. Months went by. I went back to the pawn shop and it was gone.

    I didn't think much more about Telecasters until about 10 years ago. I bought and sold several. Nothing seemed to "click". It took years to find the 3 I have now-- an American Special with a Baja neck, a parts caster Deluxe with a 1" neck, and a Road Worn with the copper finish.

    I don't feel like the Telecaster is my favorite guitar, but it's one I can't be without. I still think about the LPB one I saw in the pawn shop and wonder how differently my playing would have evolved had I bought it. It was probably a '60s Tele, and would now likely be worth far, far more than the $185 they were asking for it back then.


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  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Woe! What is that bender?

    And what is that lake placid blue tele?
     
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    My violinist/fiddler father hipped me to the Tele.
    He liked Buck Owens, and told me Teles were what Buck and Don Rich played.
    He suggested I get one.
    Though I was a rock lovin’ kid, I heeded his advice.
    I went through several nice guitars (a Jazzmaster, ES 330, Strat, and Les Paul) before settling on a Tele, when I was about 18, in 1975.
    My first was a heavy, polyester finished early 70s blonde one.
    I modded it a bunch.
    I was a loyal Tele guy for many years, adding B benders to most of them.
    Anyways, I still play em’ all the time, and own four.
    Three have Hipshot B benders.
    Full disclosure, my favorite guitar is now a Gretsch Chet, but Teles earn me the most money.
     
  4. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Had a Strat for over twelve years.

    Decided I wanted a Tele.

    Got a Tele.

    Prefer the Strat.

    Love the Tele.
     
  5. Swampash&Tweed

    Swampash&Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    Early 80s. I just really liked the look of Bruce Springsteen's guitar. I wasnt even a fan. Cheap Trick was my first love. But Bruce's Esquire really appealed to me. Then I noticed Kieth Richard's played the same guitar. Didnt even know what it was called at first. My first guitar was an Ibanez Blazer in natural. It was as close as I could get until I was able to afford a 52' reissue.
     
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  6. Swampash&Tweed

    Swampash&Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    My Tele collection has grown since then!
     

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  7. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I stumbled upon a jam session without a guitar. One of the guys lent me a Tele, and it just felt as if it were the key to my lock. Been on board ever since.
     
  8. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

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    Back in the late '80s I loved the sounds Jimmy Page got on the first Led Zeppelin album, so I bought a Tele. I loved it. I have had had a few since then. I have 3 now, and my '50s Baja is one of the best guitars I have ever owned.
     
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  9. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A jam buddy who plays a bbender brought in a different case one day....?o_O

    opened it up and there was a 83 tuxedo tele inside..... you want it? it's for sale, came from a studio guy who needs some digital desk gear....... played it and it sounded /played great.... it never left the house...:cool:

    same guy had a super 210 for sale ... I'd grabbed that a few months earlier......

    I had a black strat, so I thought a matching partner would be nice....:D

    Been playing/building teles since....poor old strat hardly gets a look in these days..:twisted:
     
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  10. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    Bought a MIM standard back in 99. Hated both the sound and the neck, sold it with no regrets and no plans to ever replace it.

    A few years ago I started playing with a bassist that had a few nice telecasters laying around and liked what I heard. Since we were doing old county at the time, it seemed like a logical move.
     
  11. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Holic

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    Simple story. Had used used squier teles when I changed from bass to guitar in the 1990's, in 2012 I was finally financially stable enough and bought my first fender, a 50's baja, it means a huge amount to me because it represents a turning point in my life
     
  12. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Meister

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    I have wanted one since I started playing in the 80s. I was a Les Paul/SG player for many years and the Tele seemed like a somewhat similar beast. However, I was strongly put off by the "ice pick" tone some guys get, and I'm not a country player, so I didn't get one until 2009-2010.

    The Tele guys that kept me interested were Jimmy Page, Daniel Vickrey from Counting Crows, and especially Greg Lisher from Camper Van Beethoven.

    The off-brand Tele I got 10 years ago turned into a fav pretty quick. I have never had trouble controlling the "ice pick" with simple amp adjustment. Personally, I love the uniqueness of the Tele's middle position, and often heard that sound in my head when recording so I'd reach straight for the Tele.

    I recently built a partscaster and experimented with several different pickups to get it dialed in. I wanted to strike a balance between a bright-enough neck pickup and dark enough bridge pickup. (For inquiring minds: the GFS Fatbody neck and GFS Hot Lead Alnico bridge are the best combo I have found to suit my tastes.) That Partscaster has eclipsed my old Tele and has become one of my main guitars these days.
     
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  13. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    When I was a kid a small local store had an old 60s tele which to me would have been the perfect guitar if I could only afford it. I had a terrible Pearl strat knockoff and as soon as I could I bought a telecaster kit from Rockinger as well as quality parts like Seymour Duncan pickups and a gotoh Bridge — top notch in the early 80s. That was a great guitar but it was stolen twice. The first time I could buy it back from a pawn shop - the junkie that stole it just got the 40 Deutschmark he needed for his next fix -but the second time it was gone.
     
  14. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    One of my first guitars was a tele, I learned on my fathers two guitars he had in the 70’s and 80’s when he played, one is a 76 gibson marauder the other a 72 telecaster that he had received stripped apart and unfinished or with a very worn natural finish

    I hate to admit it now but at the time (2003) NU-Metal was king and those two guitars were just the “old ugly guitars dad used to play”

    I preferred the way the tele felt but the marauder sounded and looked cooler so I did most my learning on it. I’d really like to restore both of them, the tele has just about NO frets left and my dad accidentally wired it weird when he put it back together in the 80’s.

    This is the ol’girl here, my dad had it sprayed by a car painter, it’s got an impervious shell of Imron paint on it.

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    So after writing the telecaster off after getting my own guitars I started listening to people like Roy Buchanan and Danny Gatton, I really started digging the tele and eventually got one of my own (with frets!) in 2017 this Baja(shortly after that I started lurking here)
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    I’ve been on the tele train ever since, now owning 4 of them
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  15. AndrewG

    AndrewG Friend of Leo's

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    My Tele story? Albert Lee back in the early 70s and hearing 'Country Boy' on the first Heads, Hands and Feet album is what really alerted me to the Telecaster. I have owned many since then; a memorable '51 Nocaster, an American Standard, a couple of Bajas (Fender's best all-time value Tele in my opinion), a few MIM Standards and my current AO50s, among others. It's simply a guitar I feel most comfortable with, and I know it can cope with any musical style I'm called upon to play.
     
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  16. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana Tele-Meister

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    I've had an EVH clone since the 80's, but it was super-cheap from Sears. Played in a band, but we were really terrible (partly because I was terrible at guitar!). Fast forward to the 2020's (that seems weird to type!) and due to circumstances beyond my control, I found myself with a lot of free time. I decided (now in my 50's) to *finally* learn how to play the guitar well - so I was practicing 1+ hours per day. I quickly found my Sears guitar was too limited (won't stay in tune, hard to bend even with new strings, tone is wrong, trem is awful) so I started looking for a decent guitar.

    Initially started looking at used MiM because they were in my budget (about $500 CAD) but couldn't find "The One". Then I thought about building my guitar with a DIY kit since they were much less (about $200 CAD) and I could do what I wanted.

    That's when I stumbled across the Squier Telecaster Bullet. It had the right neck and the right colour and wasn't much more than the DIY kits ($250 CAD). I bought it and swapped out the hardware for better bits and installed two 'buckers - I love it! It has the perfect sound and is a joy to play. All told, I spent less than $500 and I love this guitar (it is my avatar).

    I plan to keep practicing and getting better - my goal is to once again play in front of a crowd but to this time do myself proud at being actually decent at playing. :)
     
  17. darkwaters

    darkwaters Tele-Afflicted

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    In '81 I (finally) had a full time job. I decided it was time that I bought an electric guitar. No one I knew owned an electric (we were all acoustic guys), so I had zero knowledge and experience of electrics. I went to a guitar store and saw a guitar hanging on the wall that looked very similar to Bruce Springsteen's. I thought "Hey, he must know something, I'll buy that." It was a 50's style blonde MIJ. So I bought it.

    Two years later disaster struck and my job was eliminated (along with many others). Money was tight and I really couldn't justify owning an electric and an acoustic. Honestly, I'd never warmed to the Tele anyway. I concluded that I was at heart an acoustic guy, so I sold the electric and the amp that came with it. Never regretted selling the guitar, but I kind of wished I'd kept the amp, but that's another story.

    As the years passed I sometimes wondered what it was about the guitar that I hadn't liked. I realized that there were 2 things that turned me off about it. (Trigger warning!) I had bought an Epi Dot in 2000 and it taught me that I don't like maple necks or single coils. (Don't say I didn't warn you!) Here's my 2009 solution to my '81 problem:

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  18. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Since I began playing in 1987, I never wanted or needed a Telecaster until about 3 years ago when I got a Squier Affinity on a trade. Now I realize I needed one the whole time.
     
  19. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Holic

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    Keep up the good work!
     
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  20. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Meister

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    It's called the Handbender. A Swedish company, of all things, makes them.

    The blue Tele is an American Special with a Baja neck.
     
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