Synopses & Reviews
“Without the Telecaster, there would be a whole lot less music for the world to enjoy!”—Redd Volkaert, from the afterword Working-class hero. The ultimate blue-collar guitar. That is the Fender Telecaster. It wasn’t made to be elegant, pretty, or sophisticated. Instead, the Telecaster was designed to be the ultimate utilitarian musical instrument. And somewhere along the way, it changed the world of music. In the hands of players from James Burton to Muddy Waters, Bruce Springsteen to Joe Strummer, the Telecaster has made the music of working people—country, blues, punk, rock ’n’ roll, even jazz. Here is the complete tale of an electric guitar that came to work and continues to work hard more than half a century after its birth, still resonating with the purity of the first slab of swamp ash that was carved to that iconic single-cutaway design. Packed with more than 400 photos and memorabilia, plus profiles of the great Tele players, this book is a suitable tribute to the Tele. Dig in, and feel the music. “I’m still on the road and so is my Tele. Every hotel room I check into, the first thing I do is take the Telecaster out of its case and lean it against the wall. It looks so good.”—Wilko Johnson, from the foreword
"This book does something new and differentâ?¿an exultation of the Fender Telecaster in all its forms" - Vintage Guitar
"...this is a terrific book on an amazing guitar" - curledup.com
Published in honor of the guitar’s 60th anniversary, here is the first detailed history of the Fender Telecaster, one of the icons of the music world.
Fender’s Telecaster is one of the icons of the guitar world. It’s not just manufacturer’s hype that this is the one of the most famous guitars of all time—it was the first production solid-body electric guitar, setting the style for everything that followed. To say this guitar changed the world of music is no over-the-top boast. This is the first history and giftbook devoted to the legendary Tele. It covers the development of the guitar and the famous players who made it their own, from the first 1949 prototype to the launch of the model in 1950 as the Esquire, through the Broadcaster, infamous “Nocaster,” the Telecaster—and its numerous variations today.
An in-depth history and celebration of over six decades of the Tele, now available in paperback.
The Fender Telecaster is a working-class hero and the ultimate blue-collar guitar. It wasn't meant to be elegant, pretty, or sophisticated. Designed to be a utilitarian musical instrument, it has lived up to that destiny. In the hands of players from Muddy Waters to James Burton, Bruce Springsteen to Joe Strummer, the Telecaster has made the music of working people - country, blues, punk, rock 'n' roll, and even jazz.
Now available in paperback, this is the complete tale of the electric guitar that came to work and continues to work hard more than a half century after its birth, still resonating with the purity of the first slab of swamp ash that was carved into that now-iconic single-cutaway design. Packed with more than 400 photos of players, guitars, and memorabilia, as well as profiles of the greatest Telecaster players ever, here, finally, is the first suitable tribute to the electric guitar that changed the world.
About the Author
is an author, musician, and journalist. He is the author of several popular books about guitars, amps, and effects, including Voyageur Press's Star Guitars
, The Fender Stratocaster
, The Gibson Les Paul
, and 365 Guitars, Amps and Effects You Must Play
. A regular contributor to Guitar Player
and Vintage Guitar
magazines, he resides in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Redd Volkaert succeeded Roy Nichols as lead guitarist in Merle Haggard's backing band and is one of the most revered Telecaster players in the world.
Wilko Johnson is best known as the frenetic guitarist for the 1970s English R&B group Dr. Feelgood, who were an acknowledged influence on the punk rock movement that followed. Mr. Johnson was also guitarist in his own band, the Solid Senders, and for a time in Ian Dury and the Blockheads. He also appeared in four episodes of Game of Thrones and in 2014 released the well-received album Going Back Home with Roger Daltrey.
Table of Contents
ForewordBy Wilko JohnsonIntroductionThe Blue-Collar GuitarPart IHistoryPart IITone & ConstructionArtist ProfilesJimmy BryantPaul BurlisonJames BurtonLuther PerkinsMuddy WatersAlbert CollinsSteve CropperMichael BloomfieldRoy BuchananWaylon JenningsRoy Nichols & Merle HaggardBuck Owens & Don RichEric ClaptonJeff BeckClarence WhiteSyd BarrettKeith RichardsJimmy PageGeorge HarrisonWilko JohnsonBill KirchenMike CampbellBruce SpringsteenJoe StrummerAndy SummersDanny GattonRedd VolkaertPete AndersonJerry DonahueChrissie HyndeJim CampilongoMarty StuartBill FrisellVince GillD. BoonG. E. SmithBrent MasonDuke LevineFrank Black (aka Black Francis)Johnny Greenwood and Thom YorkeGraham CoxonJohn 5Brad PaisleyAfterwordBy Redd VolkaertIndex