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Sunday, September 5, 2010

1996 - Fender Telecaster - Made in Mexico

This one came along when in the summer after I turned 17.
It was dented and chipped on the back and had a Seymour Duncan Hot-Rail in the bridge.
Perfect!

I was playing in a death Metal Band at the time and had the obligatory  mid 90's long hair.
Old ladies would cross the street when they saw me coming!

This guitar was about to have a very hard life.
I still hadn't gotten over my customising phase and wanted the paint gone back to wood.
After seeing Jimi set fire to his strat, I figured setting fire to the paint with lighter fluid would cause it to bubble off. I didn't know much about physics at the time, but I could see that the paint wasn't doing anything!
When the flames went out, the paint was still in tact!

I must've got my hands on an orbital sander as the paint is quite thick and I'd never have had the patience to get through the lot by hand.

Eventually I got it back to the primer on most of the body, which let the wood show through, but protect the body from at least some of my sweat. The neck had all of the finish stripped off with a razor blade. Super smooth! Can't say the same for the edges of the body. As mentioned earlier, I was in a death metal band at the time and we played fast! Every show we did caused me great discomfort and actually caused me to blister and bleed on more than one occasion. I had a scar for years afterward.
This is what the guitar looked like when I bought it, again I never took a photo of it when new.
At some point I began hanging around with this hippie guy from Highschool.
HE was pretty good at painting, so I commissioned him to paint my guitar in a vista similar to the record cover of Amorphis' "Tales From The Thousand Lakes". It looked pretty cool, but he never finished the job and it didn't get sealed, so every time I played the thing I got oil paint on my clothes.

So back to wood it went. And I took out the neck pickup.
The cavity was too hard to sand out, so I cut up pieces from the comic book "The Maxx" and glued them in.
I used the characters Julie & Mr Gone as there were no suitable illustrations of The Maxx himself to place in the cavity.

Modded with a Teisco Style vibrato.
The Guitar stayed that way for years. I'd forgotten to hook up the ground wire from the bridge to the control plate, so I wedged a flat spanner across the gap. It looked so punk! Another thing I was obsessed with was removing the controls from my guitars. I bypassed everything and just wired one pickup to the output.
Some crazy idea about minimalism.

Around 2005 I drilled holes through the body for added sustain. They don't line up, but the guitar has less twang and more bang. Gives it a different tone. Suits the humbucker pickup.
Repaired the holes from the vibrato with a bit of wood filler and olive oil.
More recently I tried to install a Teisco style vibrato on the guitar abut couldn't get it to sit right and it just didn't want to stay in tune. The guitar just sat there waiting for me to bring it some love again.
A friend of mine had seen a photo of it with a bakelite scratch plate(as pictured above) and wanted to buy it straight away. He's a big fan of Springsteen and always wanted a guitar as seen on the cover of "Born to run".
We'd been drinking heavily at the time and I thought nothing of his offer afterward.
But sure enough, the next week he was still keen for it.
I told him the brief history and he was still keen for it.
At the time, I was in the middle of getting some cash together to buy a Mosrite so I agreed to it.

I spent the next week giving it some care, fixed the neck angle, filled the holes from the tremolo and setting up the action and intonation. The guitar was back in business. It actually plays and sounds quite nice.
Since there's only one pickup in there, I modified the selector switch to be a variable capacitor for the tone control, which works nicely.

I now kinda didn't want to let it go, but kept telling myself I did.
So I kept my side of the bargain and just yesterday have passed it on to my friend, who I know will look after it. In any case I suppose I could always get it back if I really wanted it.

The only thing I din't like about the guitar really was that it hurt my hand to play. The neck is just a little too wide for my stubby fingers. I have a feeling it'll come back to the family one day.
God Given by TheAwesomePowerOfRockets

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