Thursday, February 12, 2009

See, Emily plays - the Fender Telecaster

Why does the Fender Telecaster give me so much pleasure? I mean, I know there are better guitars. (*)
There are those who claim that it's just a posh banjo. (Actually there aren't, I made that up.)
OK, but like the banjo, the Tele plunks and plonks a lot: it's to do with the single coil pick ups. I'm told.
And like the banjo, its aficionados all wear beards, plaid shirts and sandals.
No, i made that up as well.
Sid Smith once said to me that it didn't matter what i plugged my Tele into, it still sounded like my Tele. Always polite, Sid didn't mention that it also sounded like everybody else's Tele. Only not so good.
I guess that's true ... plunk plonk, clonk.
One of the lovely thing things about a Fender Telecaster is that it's dead simple. Just stop and go, really.
Stratocasters have wiberly woberly controls - five positions to choose from. And then some knobs and a whammy bar thing. What's that about?
And Gibson Les Pauls, well, look what happened to Paul Kossoff. He's dead. And I'm not prepared to change my name, anyway.
My bank manager (yep) was telling me the other day that her pal bought a £4,000 Les Paul called the Jimmy Page.
Which is weird because, as legend goes, Jimmy played a Fender Tele on Led Zep's famous first LP. (It's kak, btw.) And Jimmy isn't called Paul. Or Les.
So, of all the famous Tele players, who's my fave?
Well, the chap from Booker T and the MGs who did all those minute masterpieces for Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, et al is really good. He played In the Midnight Hour one way ... and then backwards for Dock of the Bay. And he's not dead.
But no, not him.
Oh there's an endless list. Keith Richard? Oh crumbs, no, he's a rare beast. A dull Tele player.
No, my top of the pops has to be Syd Barrett. Oh bliss.
All those lovely noises, rattles and trips.
The lovely Syd is another example of that, when it comes to the Fender Telecaster, the less you do, the better it gets.
And, as Sid Smith said to me, no matter what you do, it still sounds like a Tele.
(*)This article first appeared in my head. Only it was better.




1 comment:

Matt Stevens said...

I am also a tele fan - I sold my les paul bet still cling to the tele