I think that as human beings, especially in our early years (1 - 20 years old), we are like ducks and all animals: we "imprint" on the first things we encounter, and those things become our familiar, comfortable, "go-to" thing. I think it happens visually and also in an auditory sense. For me, growing up, I liked the music of certain guitar players, and I found that all of the greats in the '50's and '60's started with Telecasters. Why? Because there were really only two solid body guitars to speak of: Telecaster and Les Paul. As you know, the following players started on Telecasters or Esquires. Some moved on to Strats and Les Pauls, but when I listened to them, and fell in love with their tone, it was "Tele tone". My ear and mind subconsciously "imprinted" on Tele tone I guess. The Tele greats were (and the list speaks for itself):I was talking to my neuro guy yesterday around my neurodiversity and we got onto the subject of my opposition to things that either are or become popular. It's always been a natural inclination of mine since a young age: an avoidance of 'the done thing' and the risk of being labelled, which then requires meeting certain expectations.
I was accused of being odd or defiant when I was younger but I've concluded it was about deriving some agency while living a life with an until recently diagnosed invisible passenger.
The session got me on the drive I go afterwards (to process my neuro-psych sessions) thinking about guitars.
Why did I chose a Tele ?
There was Joe Strummer who was a hero of mine and played a Tele but he wasn't one of my guitar heroes. My guitar heroes: Mark Knopfler, Mick Ronson, Stuart Adamson, John McGeoch or John Martyn didn't use them.
They were never popular among my peers, LPs and Strats were. Teles were considered a bit meh. Neither were they popular in the genres of music I played so I conclude there was some defiance/opposition to the popular at first.
Then of course, I developed my own sound so it became integral to my playing.
I've flirted with other electric guitars but around 2000 made the admission to myself that the Tele and me were bound. A few years ago a friend introduced me to a fellow guitar player with "This is (real name),he plays a Telecaster", so it must be part of my identity now.
I can't think of another solid body electric guitar, I would like to own, possibly a better custom built Tele but nothing else hit the spot.
I'm sure every Telecaster player has their reasons for owning one.
What's your reason for choosing the Telecaster?