Tom Wheeler's 1961 Tele

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by WingedWords, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    This is a long shot. In his "The Guitar Book" 1974 Tom Wheeler says that he's "very partial to a certain 1961 Telecaster". He includes this picture

    20171108_112119.jpg

    This was the picture that made me fall in love with Teles and I've often wondered if it was Tom's 1961. 3 string guides on the headstock are certainly non-standard and I'm not sure about the natural finish.

    Any opinions, knowledge, speculation?
     
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  2. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    It is striped to natural and the pickguard is non stock.
    Tuners and string trees are also non stock
     
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  3. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks - yes I thought probably stripped. It would have only been 13 years old in 1974 and no concerns about originality I guess.
     
  4. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Very nice!

    Tom died a few years ago as I recall
    A great music journalist.
     
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  5. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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  6. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Afflicted

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    That intonation certainly can't be right. It appears to have been converted from a lefty and never adjusted.
     
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I remember TW’s book, and that picture well.
    I LOVE that look on a Tele.
    Though I preferred the looks of the 50s maple neck Teles in my youth, once I started playing them, I greatly preferred rosewood.
    “Hippie Natural”, my term for a stripped/re-finned finish, rosewood, and black (or tort!) is still my favorite.
    Funny, I never noticed the string trees before.
    Mr. Wheeler was a great writer.
    He always seemed like one of “us”.
    He was not didactic, (or facetious in any manner-Broadway Danny Rose) and seemed like a fellow guitar lover/nerd.
    RIP, and thanks, sir.
     
  8. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

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    Is this really a 61? It appears to have a veneer fret board. A 1961 tele would have a slab board, wouldn't it?...
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
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  9. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    Just my wishful thinking that the pic is of Tom Wheeler's 61 Tele. Probably it isn't. Thanks for pointing that out.
     
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  10. Mike M

    Mike M TDPRI Member

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    My wife had him as a journalism teacher back in Oregon 25 some years ago.

    Said he was the sweetest guy ever.
     
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  11. capitalbear

    capitalbear TDPRI Member

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    Hard to tell, might as well be a slab board.
     
  12. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Slab board. No walnut plug. You can see where the fretboard bevel joins the headstock, it's a good 1/4" thick.

    That intonation is interesting...
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020 at 5:37 AM
  13. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep I spotted the intonation is set for a left handed player.
     
  14. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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  15. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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  16. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    It is, but I’m a little bit miffed it’s not as it was when Tom had it. But all part of its history now.
     
  17. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes can understand you being miffed about that!
     
  18. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm still grinning stupidly though at finding out the story of my first Tele.
     
  19. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tom's Fender Amp book,
    Fender Amps, the Soul of Tone is a must have! ( for Fender gear nerds)
     
  20. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't wanna dunk on either the former owner or the Tele. There are some things I do like about it, for instance, the body with that beautiful straight grain.

    But not one, not two, but three string trees??? That's a place where I just can't go.

    And yeah, there's something funky going on with the saddle setup. Looks like it's setup for a left-hander. The fact that there's a tree on the E and A strings seems to be further evidence it was once owned by a leftie.
     
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