I was about 16 years old when I first played a Tele (I'm 42 now, fwiw). It was a family reunion and there are many musicians in the family. A cousin brought a whole setup (P.A., multiple guitars, bass, drums) but I was the only one who played "lead" guitar. The cousin who brought the equipment had a Tele but he basically played it like an acoustic guitar. People took turns going up on stage and playing songs (mostly country and Bob Dylan/Bob Seger classics), but I was asked to stay on the Tele as I could play some lead lines and various chord inversions. Up until that point, I fantasized about upgrading my Vantage cheapo electric to a Les Paul, but the Tele shocked me in a very good way and it has been in my mind ever since. I still don't own one yet, but I'm hoping to remedy that in the next 6 months.