You are here

Photo Gallery: Masters of the Telecaster, Which Celebrates its 60th Anniversary This Year

Photo Gallery: Masters of the Telecaster, Which Celebrates its 60th Anniversary This Year

Some might argue that the Fender Telecaster has spent the majority of its 60 years in the shadow of its younger, more free-wheeling brother, the Fender Stratocaster.

But while the Strat might inspire a sense of fire-wielding recklessness, the Tele is the more stern, more workhorse-like instrument -- the older sibling who pulls its little brother out of the fire when the flames get too hot.

It is this unyielding utilitarianism that gives the Telecaster its low profile but helps it maintain its status as the weapon of choice for some of the world's most renowned guitarists.

After the Fender Esquire, the Broadcaster was Leo Fender's first successful mass-produced solid-body electric guitar. Not wanting to contend nominally with Gretsch's "Broadkaster" drum kit, Fender drew inspiration from the latest entertainment trend, television, and renamed his guitar the Telecaster in 1951.

Although it was little more than an Esquire with an additional pickup and a truss rod in the neck, the instrument was a hit. With the Telecaster, players could produce a dynamic range of sounds at high volumes without unwanted feedback. Given the stage was set for a bold, new musical form, the timing of the Telecaster's birth was perfect.

Though other solid-body electric guitars, many with advanced upgrades, have since come to dominate the marketplace, the Telecaster remains in production, and in a variety of models.

It may not be incredibly exotic, but take it from the list of faithful Tele players below: The Telecaster is the most pure, most dependable electric guitar invented in the last 60 years.

And 60 years from now, it probably still will be.



See Cheap Trick Play “I Want You to Want Me” in Exclusive Live Clip