Posted by James Wilsey (former member of the Avengers and Chris Isaak/Silvertone, now a solo recording artist). Don’t know the year. Who can tell by that serial number?
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.
The Telegraph recently put together this list of the ten most expensive guitars ever sold. Pretty cool, but they are definitely missing Bob Dylan’s guitar, which sold for $965,000 back in December. But check it out and see how many you recognize. The Hendrix guitar shown below was used at Woodstock and sold to Paul Allen for $2 million back in 1998. I don’t recall seeing it at the EMP. Maybe they keep it hidden away?
Fender makes some awesome affordable instruments, but if you want to go custom with them, the things can get expensive quickly! Luckily, there are a ton of options out there, and many may be more affordable than you think. Like this custom Strat from the guys at Fall Rock Shop. Prices for their custom guitars start around $500. This Blue Burst Strat was about $900, but has a top of the line Wilkenson tremolo bridge, $150 worth of pickups and a flame maple neck. Check out the specs and another pic after the jump!
This was filmed on March 17, 1969 in Denmark. Led Zeppelin had just released their first album and Jimmy Page was still playing his 1959 Telecaster (a gift from Jeff Beck). Via Guitar World
Cool little video by Fender looking at the Mustangs used by Kurt during the In Utero era. Fender opened these guitars up in order to ascertain wiring schemes and pickup configurations for the Kurt Cobain Signature Mustang guitars.
Looks like maybe it’s meant to be displayed more than played, still, I like it. For sale at Amazon
I’ve been meaning to write something on this little amp for a while now. I have a weird fascination with mini amps, and I’m also a fan of pretty much anything Fender. So the minute I saw this little Mini ’57 Twin Amp, I pretty much had to have it.
Now, if you go to the Fender website, you will see that the mini amps are listed under accessories. That should be a tip off right there. Fender is not trying to market these as amps. Yes, it does amplify sound from your guitar. But… it’s really just a toy. If you are thinking of using one of these for a practice amp, I’d spend a few more bucks and get something real–like a Mustang 1. However, if you want a toy, something that looks cool and is kind of fun to play with every once in a while, this is pretty neat. It would also make a great gift for that Fender fanatic who has everything.
Now, I’m kind of curious to try the Orange Micro Crush. Sounds like it might be a bit more than just a toy. Maybe I’ll put it on my Christmas list.
Anyway, more pics of the little ’57 Twin after the jump!
Cool article dredged up by Guitar World in honor of the release of the 20th anniversary edition of Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’–The Definitive Kurt Cobain Gear Guide. I started playing guitar (again) a year or so before Bleach came out, and really, that’s what you bought back then if you were a punk rocker kid–cause they were cheap and crunchy sounding–a Mustang, a DS-1 and a crappy solid state amp. Well, that’s what I bought anyway.