This blog's head cheese reports that today is the Tele's 62nd birthday, which dovetails well into Leo Fender's memories of its development aside from the year; there are 1950 Teles that are clearly Teles except for the headstock decal reads either "Broadcaster" or nothing at all, the semi-legendary "No Caster."
I've occasionally written about the Tele in the past, and I'm on deadline now, but I'd like to share some iconic Telecaster recordings, some that one might not know were recorded with a Tele, and some because I still find headless-guitarist YouTbue videos terribly hilarious.
FYI, I'm not including any twang-assed country chicken-pickers because reasons, nor is Bruce Springsteen included because 1.] man, fuck that guy and 2.] his famous Tele is actually a Fender Esquire that's been modified to look like a Tele, which is like buying a pair of wingtips to wear with a tuxedo T-shirt [see reason #1].
Jimmy Page cut the solo in "Stairway to Heaven" with the Tele he used all over the first two Zep albums.
Jazz cat Ted Greene literally wrote the book on advanced chordal theory, yet has relied on the bone-stupidly effective Tele to express his concepts.
Hendrix probably cut "Fire" with a borrowed Tele, along with the solo for "Purple Haze" [!!!]
The Tele was an unlikely favorite for scads of '90s British bands -- Radiohead, Elastica, Suede, Blur, etc. Emma Anderson favored a semi-hollow Tele run through a ton of stomp boxes for Lush's sound.
Eric Clapton played a Custom Tele with a Strat neck during the Blind Faith project.
In case you need a lesson from the Telemaster; ALL GLORY TO THE GATTON HE IS THE WAY AND THE LIGHT
George Harrison played what must have been an incredibly heavy solid-rosewood Tele for the Let It Be sessions.
Keef talks about his Teles.
Prince continues to baffle and delight generations with his impossibly thick and sustaining Tele.
I've occasionally considered opening a 24-hour strip club that plays nothing but Prince music; one rule of the club is that the solo to Purple Rain must be timed to start at the stroke of midnight every night, and whoever's onstage must stop and genuflect toward Minneapolis.
What are your favorite Tele moments?
[ps. I'm currently accepting donations to launch that club, BTW. Holla.]