Ted Turner of Wishbone Ash--Strat superstar!


Silver Supporter
Jan 4, 2007
Union City CA
I recently got into this really cool rock band called Wishbone Ash about a few months ago. If you haven't heard them, you really need to check them out! The invention of British guitarist Andy Powell, they formed in 1967 along with lead guitarist Ted Turner, bassist Martin Turner and drummer Steve Upton. Their first album, Wishbone Ash, was released in 1970 and became a big hit in the group's native England. However, it was 1972's Argus that broke the band's commercial window, featuring the twin guitar snarls of Andy Powell and guitarist Ted Turner, and contained such favorites as Blowin' Free and Throw Down The Sword. The follow-up, Wishbone Four, was released in 1973, and was so named because it was their fourth studio album. (Wishbone Four was also the group's highest charting album on the Billboard 200 chart, charting no higher than #44). However, following the release of a live 2 record set, Live Dates, that same year, Ted Turner left the group.

Whilst Andy Powell's main guitars were various Gibson Flying Vs, a Fender Telecaster, a Gibson Firebird, a Gibson SG Junior and an Epiphone Texan acoustic guitar, Ted Turner also played a Gibson Firebird, a black Gibson Les Paul, a lap steel, a 12 string acoustic, and a pre-CBS Fender Stratocaster. Ted has owned various Strats, including a white Strat:
View attachment 999032
a yellowish Strat with a maple board:
View attachment 999033
And finally, a mid-fifties Strat that had a maple fingerboard. This particular Strat, which was used on every Wishbone Ash album up to Live Dates, is a sunburst, and it had to have been made well before 1959 as Fender phased out maple fingerboards in the later period of that year.
View attachment 999038
Ted grew up in Birmingham, England, and played in several rock bands throughout Birmingham. As a teenager, Ted was also friends with Jeff Lynne, the guitarist and lead singer for ELO.
However, sometime in 2005, most of Ted Turner's guitars were stolen from his estate in Worcestershire, including
Gibson Les Paul
A '1958 re-issue' Les Paul Standard in Tobacco Sunburst, with a highly figured quilt maple top. Custom finished by Tom Murphy.

Woodworm Stratocaster
This is a Stratocaster style guitar with a natural quilted maple top and figured maple neck.
It is very unusual in that it has a P90 style pickup fitted in the bridge position. This guitar was custom built for Ted by Rob Williams.

Fender Telecaster
Again, custom-built using a woodworm quilted maple topped body with very rare Joe Bardon pickups. The body is finished in a green sunburst effect.

Carvin 12-string
A black Carvin 12-string guitar with two humbucking pickups.

Ernie Ball Music Man
A 4-string Ernie Ball Music Man bass guitar. Natural finish. Very early issue and very rare.

Ibanez Artcore
Ibanez Artcore jazz-style semi acoustic guitar finished in Tobacco Sunburst.

Epiphone Les Paul
An Epiphone Gold Top Les Paul guitar with P90 style pickups.

Fender Stratocaster
A white Fender Stratocaster, factory fitted with the Roland GK Pickup.
A 'Roland Ready' Stratocaster.

Custom Telecaster style guitar
A grey Telecaster style guitar of unknown origin. It is noticeable as it has a moon symbol inlaid on the headstock.

Turner Acoustic
A Turner 12-string acoustic guitar.

Also, a collection of Lap Steel Guitars, including an especially unusual model with a Roland GK pickup fitted, and a Gibson, have also been taken, alongside a range of acoustic stringed instruments and some Line 6 and Roland guitar-processing hardware. It is unknown if this sunburst Strat was stolen, but if it was, I wonder if it was ever recovered and if he still owns it.
Ted Turner's replacement in Wishbone Ash, Laurie Wisefield, also played in a band called Home, which included ACDC bassist Cliff Williams. Laurie mainly played various Les Pauls, a Tele and a sunburst pre-CBS Strat that looked exactly like the one Ted used. It almost looked like a Strat Buddy Holly would have played.
I have Wishbone Four, Live Dates and Just Testing in my record collection.
Here are some good Wishbone Ash songs featuring Ted Turner's spiffy licks:

And if you're just getting used to Wishbone Ash and need to own one album, it has to be Argus. That album is 50 years old!

Been into them since a friend in college turned me on to them in fall of '73. Have a lot of their albums, started with the very first album ("Phoenix"!!!). One of my fave albums is "There's The Rub" with Laurie Wisefield. "Persephone" and "Hometown" are my faves off the album, my band's cover of "Persephone" at a battle of the bands in '76 (along with Joe Walsh's "Country Fair" and Zep's "Communication Breakdown") helped us win.

Saw them several times at the Tower Theater in Philly back when I still lived in the area.

And "Argus" is a great album!



Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Sep 20, 2021
Florida Gulf Coast
I saw them circa 1973. They did not draw a very big crowd, and I was able to stand in front of the stage. They looked like a garage band, but played flawlessly, and were one of the tightest bands I've ever seen . . . That's probably a memory of a memory, since it was almost 50 years ago.


TDPRI Member
Nov 10, 2014
Beyond the Thunderdome
Wishbone Ash were the first band I ever saw live and I thought they were awesome, not sure if they were first with the twin-lead thing but they certainly preceded the Gorham/Robertson version of Thin Lizzy. The albums with Ted Turner are my favourite. A little while ago I got to play on the same bill as Martin Turner's band and it was great to hear those Ash classics again.

Bob Womack

Friend of Leo's
May 28, 2016
Between Clever and Stupid
A minor point - it was Martin Turner and Steve Upton who formed the band, and found guitarists Andy Powell and Ted Turner. MT and SU had been in a previous lineup together.

All the wrangling about name ownership I believe is well documented online :)
You are absolutely right and I had a brain fart. I even know it. Ted did align himself with Martin during the big suit.