Tadeo Fans... whats the earliest TG neck you have seen or heard of?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by nichd01, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. nichd01

    nichd01 Tele-Meister

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    I was looking at another site that mentioned TG worked at fender beginning in the mid 40's. Wonder what the earliest TG neck is? Just throwing it out there... a lot of interest in these early craftsmen.
     
  2. TheFullMonty

    TheFullMonty Tele-Holic

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    I've seen a '50 Broadcaster with TG on the heel. Serial number #0084, so quite an early example.
     
  3. nichd01

    nichd01 Tele-Meister

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    I personally have seen a neck from late 49... but no idea what it went into. Guy claims it was a leo fender garage proto... looked like a broadcaster and not an esq, but he called it his 49 tele. I do know that he bought it from a guitar store in the early 60's from someone who had a documented history with fender and who also claimed it was owned previously by buck owens. Missing some orig parts when i saw it... so no idea on number. bridge and control cover were brass. Couple of old pics of him playing it... so cool story anyway! If nothing else, I love the stories around these old blackguards!
     
  4. Bortyeast

    Bortyeast Tele-Holic

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    From the book "Fender Precision Basses: 1951-1954" by Detlef Schmidt:

    Neck initialed by Tadeo Gomez 9-18-51 dates neck to about a month before Fender installed machinery to make them - possibly making this one a hand made prototype.

    (page 46, if you were interested)
     
  5. nichd01

    nichd01 Tele-Meister

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    wow.... so maybe part of the story was true! just got the blackguard book... will have to add that one to the collection!
     
  6. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I'm equally fascinated by the "legend" of Tadeo Gomez but I have a slightly different view of the "TG" and "Tadeo Gomez" markings. It's a view which in the past have offended the purist but I think its because it challenges the "myth".

    I'm interested in how the signature changes. Different fonts, squarish letters and flowing signatures. There's even a hint that some of the markings were made by "someone" left-handed.

    I've discussed this observation with English guitar restorer Clive Brown over a cup of tea (made with Yorkshire water). Clive has seen hundreds of early 50s Fenders pass through his shop, and as his primary business is making good, repairing or refinishing guitars (and he's recognised as a world expert), like me, he feels the markings are not made by one man - based on his extensive observations.

    Clive and I share the theory that the TG markings denote a shift or group of workers and the shift leader's initials were used to mark the [body and neck] parts. That would explain the different fonts and styles. Other shifts or groups would mark the mark theirs after their shift or group leader, e.g. Eddie, another common neck and body signature.

    In another recent thread called Tadeo Gomez genius neck shaper I feared it might develop into previous Tadeo threads which have declared a Master Luthier because I don't think he was. There is no evidence that Tadeo was even the master carver that created - what we now call - the Tadeo taper. The man himself is not mentioned or even referred to in any of the definitive early books abouts Fender's early years. He was just another guy that left his mark (or his mark was left by others?) on items which now have historical significance.

    Before the purists launch a savage attack on this theory and me, please respect that it is just that. My theory, and it is as substantiated as current myth that Tadeo was the legend that he been elevated to.

    Tadeo left Fender and there was no documented crisis in the history of the company. He went to work at Disney and then opened a tobacco shop. He returned Fender as a janitor. Was he invited to carve the odd mythical neck? We'll never know, but I suspect not.

    By all accounts he was a good man. When he was stalked by the Webers Board about 10-years ago (I found it a little creepy, but that's where the drivers licence and photos came from) we discovered he had passed away after a good life. His family had no idea that (or at least his initials) had before a legend and to be honest, they claimed to being a little puzzled. He had talked about his time at Fender but it was just a part of his life's journey.

    It's cool that the legend of Tadeo Gomez lives on but the real facts behind the markings is something we'll never know.

    :) Peter
     
  7. Scotland

    Scotland Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tadeo Fans... whats the earliest TG neck you have seen or heard of?

    I once saw a "Genuine" :p 1946 Tele that was advertised locally as made by Tadeo....including the pickups. Now talk about a man with vision :lol:
     
  8. nichd01

    nichd01 Tele-Meister

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    Peter... i have seen and heard the same. i guess the question would be are the TG necks distinctive from the rest as a whole? Would need someone like a clive that has seen a few. I think it makes sense that TG could have been a shift leader, but guess he would have to have first been good at what he did to run a shift?...so along those lines, would be interesting to bucket his sigs into similar buckets... were they the same early on and then started changing.
     
  9. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    John, you crack me up, mate! :lol: You're funny now but when you get back to 100% you'll be the man.

    I agree. The guy held onto his job and I too poetically want to believe that he did indeed create the taper - a feature which makes the Tele neck oh so nice to play and look at - which we now name after him.

    The best reference we have at the moment is Nacho's The Blackguard Book but I fear that the opportunity to gather info and intelligence about the early Broadcasters and guitars may be passing. As the value of Broadcasters seems to increase, many are being bought as investments and locked away. My experience with collectors is that they rarely share the information about the prize assets so perhaps we'll never really know.

    Same too with the specialists like Clive. He's brilliant at spotting the little anomalies in guitars that pass through his workshop - the little gems that add that certain "je ne sais quoi" which he recreates in his work. I've asked him about a number of "secrets" and he returns the answer as silence with a cheeky smile.

    But that's what makes this subject so fascinating. The things we don't know are as equally intriguing as the "facts" we do. Or the things we call "facts". I’m impressed what has come out over the last 10-years as a thirst for this subject has increased. Discussed here on the TDPRI, and in some depth on the old Webers Board, 10-years ago there was mystery surrounding the routers hump and the exactly profile of the early bodies and specific routings. Milled jack cups were selling at over $250 on eBay (when they occasionally turned up) and knobs and early 50s parts weren’t available as repros.

    Now you can buy accurate reproduction bodies, necks and hardware, the early pick ups have been dissected under an electron microscope and we’ve matched a name against the initials TG.

    This is really exciting stuff and it’s right that we try and preserve what we know.

    Great subject and excellent thread.

    :) Peter
     
  10. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Could someone describe the Tadeo Taper? I've never heard of it before reading this thread. Thanks in advance.
     
  11. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    It's the beautiful shape and transition of the neck through to the headstock like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's accredited to the Fender employee called Tadeo Gomez who worked at the Fender factory in the early years, but that's about all is know.

    :) Peter
     
  12. nichd01

    nichd01 Tele-Meister

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    Peter... someday when i visit the UK to look up the family tree (wolcott on one side, mount on the other) would love to buy you a pint! I got hooked almost immediately on the vintage teles, bought Nacho's book and a stack of others... and will prob buy another nacho book just to put away given this one is going to be used! (assuming you are in the UK that is).

    I do find it plausible that one guy could have started the taper... also just as plausible that he left fender on his own without any fanfare. Everything i see about early fender was leo was a pragmatist and a business man... my guess is there was very little art involved early on. The taper could just have been a personal preference... or it fit his hand nicely or something like that... any genius was i am sure not intended. Believe or not... i find great value and interest in the discourse.
     
  13. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks, Peter!
     
  14. Tele wacker

    Tele wacker Tele-Holic

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    I've seen and held a '51 and I owned a '55 at one time.
     
  15. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Be warned that I keep a book of all the people who offer to buy me drinks and call in the debt as and when I meet them. So when you are next in Nottingham, England, give me a call and we'll talk vintage Teles all night. Over several beers

    I'm going to challenge you on the "Leo was a businessman". If you read Forrest White's book you'll discover he was far from a good business man. When Forrest arrived - a skilled production planner - Leo had him stacking bodies and helping out in the factory. In the meantime, they had no idea of order levels, stock levels, supplies, committments or demands. Leo would rush around like a mad inventor, running from one crisis to the next.

    I love the almost mandatory inclusion of "What would Leo have done?" in many threads here on the TDPRI, when I suspect Leo was actually rushing round inventing new stuff all the time. What we'll never know is how many ideas he came up with were just plain rubbish.

    He was a great Engineer. And I'm going to lean towards electrical engineering because he loved the whole amp agenda. But he did have a nack of surrounding himself with great guys like Forrest White, Doc Kaufmann and Freddie Tavares and listen to musicians which I believe is what made Fender the company it is today.

    You're welcome. I actually believe that the Tadeo Taper is that whole rear headstock experience. The beautiful transition from the headstock, volute and into the neck itself. It's a thing of beauty and it was probably a result of the teams wanting to create the smooth flowing lines seen on the Cadillacs and cars of the time. Can you imagine the teams competing to get the best flowing lines of the era.

    I suspect it was a great place to work.

    :) Peter
     
  16. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The questions that beg to be asked here after reading this thread. Did Tadeo carve his own broom handles? Did he carve a few for fellow janitors? Did Leo Fender try and patent Tadeo's broom handle carving technique? Finally is there a huge stash of vintage Tadeo carved broom handles hidden away somewhere, and will they make it onto Ebay?
     
  17. Fatmanstratman

    Fatmanstratman Poster Extraordinaire

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    Peter, I know you don't really need me to say this, but I just wanted to thank you for (once again) a well thought out and reasoned response to a question that stands side-by-side with the existance of the Holy Grail.

    How nice to see someone challenge a myth with not so much as a hint of confrontation - even offering some possible answers which have now got OTHER folks questioning the myth and starting to think outside the box rather than blindly accepting the age-old "A TG neck? Wow! That MUST be the most superbly crafted and valuable neck EVER!".

    Peter Ball - mythbuster extraordinaire - I salute you!....:cool:
     
  18. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I just fell off my seat laughing.

    Brilliant!

    :lol: Peter
     
  19. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Steve, our paths haven't crossed for ages!!

    How the devil are you??

    I was supposed to be over your way tomorrow but the afternoon meeting has been moved London which is good, as I'm in a meeting in London tomorrow morning!

    Thank you, kind Sir, for your comments.

    :) Peter
     
  20. nichd01

    nichd01 Tele-Meister

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    well drop my name into the book as I plan on looking up Mr. Brown to see if he would be willing to do some work on my guitar!
     
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