In my opinion the Telecaster is the coolest guitar ever built. And the original Blackguards? The coolest of the cool. But if you want an original from the early 50s, it’s gonna cost you, big time. So what’s the next best thing? The incredible Blackguard Book by Nacho Banos, which takes a very detailed look at Fender Telecasters built from 1950 to 1954.
The book itself is huge–you better have a strong coffee table! It measures 12″ x 12″ and comes in a hard case. Nacho is only publishing 5500 copies, and they are each given Tele-style serial numbers from 0001 to 5500 (mine is 2095). Inside you will find 50 guitars disassembled and photographed in stunning detail. The book devotes a chapter to each year from 1950 to 1954 and also provides an abundance of technical details on the guitars.
Be warned: this book will increase your GAS. I originally bought it with the idea it would help me spec out a partscaster. But now it has me pretty much sold on a Road Worn 50s Telecaster. Or maybe I should save a little more for a American Vintage ’52. Hmmm….
So should you buy it? Says builder Ron Kirn on TDPRI: “If you’re into Teles and don’t have this book, who ya tryin’ to kid???”
One note on ordering. I got mine for $85 plus $10 shipping from JK Lutherie. It was shipped promptly with no issues. But the site seems to be down at the moment. I’ll update this blog if I get more info.